How does the prevalence of HIV vary by sex?

Updated: Jul 01, 2019
  • Author: Nicholas John Bennett, MBBCh, PhD, MA(Cantab), FAAP; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

In the developed world, HIV infection is much more common in males. In 2015, males accounted for 81% of all diagnoses of HIV infection among adults and adolescents in the United States. [72] Among heterosexuals, females are more likely to acquire HIV infection from an infected male than a male is from an infected female, but a large proportion of infections in males are due to homosexual contact, with or without injection drug use. Males are also more likely to acquire HIV infection from injection drug use alone.

Males were also more likely to acquire HIV infection through contaminated blood products for treatment of hemophilia before universal testing of the blood supply was instituted. The risk of HIV exposure from factor VIII concentrates has been virtually eliminated by viricidal treatment of plasma-derived factor VIII concentrates, as well as the introduction of recombinant factor VIII concentrates and the gradual elimination of albumin from the production process used for these products.

In the developing world, HIV infection is equally common in males and females. The primary route of HIV transmission in the developing world is heterosexual contact.


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