Tuesday, November 10, 2009

WHO: AIDS is leading cause of death for women

The leading cause of death for women is AIDS according to the World Health Organization. AIDS effects women aged 15 to 44 more than any other disease. The WHO also says that 15 percent of woman's deaths are from childbirth complications.

From RedOrbit, this Associated Press story contains the WHO's statement.

The WHO said that unsafe sex is the leading risk factor in developing countries for these women of childbearing age, with others including lack of access to contraceptives and iron deficiency. This was the WHO's first study of women's health around the globe.

According to the U.N. agency, one in five deaths among women throughout the world in this age group is linked to unsafe sex.

"Women who do not know how to protect themselves from such infections, or who are unable to do so, face increased risks of death or illness," the WHO said in a 91-page report. "So do those who cannot protect themselves from unwanted pregnancy or control their fertility because of lack of access to contraception."

The data was included in a report that highlights the unequal health treatment a female faces from childbirth through infancy carrying on into old age.

Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO’s chief, said that women enjoy a biological advantage because they tend to live six to eight years longer than men. However, she said that throughout the world they suffer serious disadvantages because of poverty, poorer access to health care and cultural norms that put a priority on the well being of men.

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