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Abuse, Social Support, and Depression Among HIV-Positive Heterosexual, Bisexual, and Lesbian Women: Nina A. Cooperman and Jane M. Simoni and David W. Lockhart
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During the 1980s, women represented only 7% of those diagnosed with AIDS. By the year 2000, that percentage had quadrupled to 28%, and AIDS is now one of the leading causes of death among women 25-44 years of age in the United States (U.S.; Centers for Disease Control [CDC], 1999a; CDC, 2000). While African American and Hispanic women constitute less than 25% of the population of women in the U.S., they account for over 75% of AIDS cases among women. This group’s relatively higher HIV risk has been attributed to such factors as poverty, drug use, poor healthcare, lack of education, and unemployment (Fernandez, 1995; Jemmott, Catan, Nyamathi, & Anastasia, 1995). Women living in impoverished African American or Hispanic communities have increased stressors and fewer resources compared to others, leaving them more vulnerable to HIV infection and less able to cope once infected.