HIV in Females – its different!
|It has been found that the markers ( Viral Load, T-cells ) doctors generally use to determine progression of HIV infection behave differently in women and people of color as compared to white men.
- Viral load, a measurement of how many virus particles are in the blood stream, is lower in women than in men infected for the same amount of time.
- It remains low in people of color longer than in whites, so women of color generally have the lowest viral loads of all.
- T-cells, protective immune cells whose number declines over the course of HIV infection, start out at higher levels in healthy women, and decline more slowly in HIV-infected women than they do in men.
More research is needed to determine what these differences mean in practical terms in the treatment of women.