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Rape and HIV

Gender violence and the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are two of the major social and health problems affecting women worldwide. HIV is the virus that causes aquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). HIV destroys the white blood cells (CD4 cells, also known as T cells) that the immune system requires to fight disease. AIDS is the final stage of HIV infection, and it is diagnosed when CD4 cell counts fall below 200. HIV infection can initially produce no symptoms, and some people remain asymptomatic for years before developing AIDS. HIV is transmitted through bodily fluids, such as blood, semen, vaginal secretions, or breast milk. The burden of the worldwide HIV pandemic has disproportionately fallen on the developing world. Africa has been hit the hardest; ...

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