Monday, 12 April 2010

How HIV infects Women

It was previously thought that HIV only infected women through vaginal sex  if they had a tear or sore in their vagina. 

It was often suggested that this tear or sore could be from 'rough sex' or from the woman having another sexually transmitted illness or being a drug user or unwell in general.

Sadly this made women who got the virus through unprotected vaginal sex  feel somehow even more responsible for the fact they acquired HIV than they might be. 

But it takes two you know !! Always has always will!!!

Yet the latest research could explain why all women acquire the virus more easily than men and now more often.

But the reality is that even in the so called developed world ( I live in the UK) women DO NOT have complete control over their sexual lives and the use of condoms etc.

This was even true for me .
As a married women living in the UK I thought I had consensual if not complete control over our lives and at least our sexual lives!
but did I really!
My husband was a seaman, he came home to me and wanted sex after being months away, of course I wanted sex too, as it was not only him that had been on their own for the months he was away.
But  I prided myself in being a 'liberated/intelligent/educated/knowledgeable woman
And so I asked
Every single  time he came home to me I asked - honestly I asked every time to which he will now confirm that I asked:
'Have you had sex with anyone else while away'

EVERY TIME - He looked me in the eyes and said NO!!! - every single time he came home in over 25+ years!
And I believed him, if he said he had not - then he had not!!
And so even as aware as I was I did not think there was any reason to use a condom.
As even before I reached the menopause I was open to have more children although it never happened and after the menopause I did not think their was any reason to use protection either  .
But believe me had he ever said he had has sex with anyone else - I would NOT (within reason) have left him, but I would have had the knowledge to protect myself and I would have.

So why you may ask did I not use safe sex anyway?
Well I did not- he was the father of my only child, we had at that point been together over 20 years, he said - looking into my eyes -  he had taken no risk - ever - so I believed him!

I blame my conditioning as a woman and the lack of power all women have in all relationships &  especially sexual relationships between men and women

plus how HIV transmission is now being criminalized does not help us:
See Alice Welbourn on this:

Anyway it has now been found that this is not the case

It is NOT so that is we get HIV it is somehow not only our fault if we get HIV because we did not insist on a condom but also because we were somehow already 'infected, sullied, vulnerable! - because our vagina has a tear or we already had a STI!


When are ALL heterosexual men going to learn they have responsibilities for theirs and their partners sexual health too??? If we do NOT have the right information how can we make the right choices?

Any woman can get infected by ordinary sexual intercourse because normal cells in the vagina, the epithelial cells, allow the HIV virus to get through.

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