In Russia, for example, the number of young women living with HIV aged 15-24 is double that among men of the same age.10 This epidemic unfortunately remains an epidemic of women.
Procedures relating to a women’s sexual and reproductive health (SRH), performed without consent, including forced sterilisation, forced virginity examinations and forced abortion, also deter women from accessing services.15 In some cases, healthcare providers do not fully understand laws around childbirth and HIV.
This can lead to women choosing to have an abortion because they are misinformed about their options and how to protect their health as well as their child's.16 Additionally, in 29 countries women require the consent of a spouse or partner to access SRH services.17 A lack of access to comprehensive HIV and SRH services means that women are less able to look after their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and reduce their risk of HIV infection.
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If you were born with HIV and were diagnosed at a young age, you may have been going to a doctor or clinic that specialises in child health for a long time.
Even if you were diagnosed more recently, perhaps in your early teens, it’s likely that one of your parents, or a guardian, has gone with you to the clinic and helped you remember to take your treatment.
• A local support group of other young people living with HIV may be one way to share your feelings and experiences.