The rate of infection with HIV among women is increasing. This has significant implications for the reproductive health of women in India. The present configuration of national family planning services is not likely to bring about widespread condom use, which would protect women from HIV. Limited access by women, especially the poor, to health care in general means that women who are HIV positive are at an additional disadvantage. Absence of accessible voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) services will impair the effectiveness of HIV control programme in India. HIV positive women in India face serious problems with respect to marriage, sexuality, and childbearing and as the epidemic spreads these will impact on the wider society. Research studies are required in the field of mother to child transmission (MTCT) of HIV, particularly through breastfeeding, in the Indian context. While social initiatives such as the empowerment of women are required to provide reproductive health security to women, a comprehensive confidential voluntary counselling and testing programme is urgently needed.
Pallikadavath, S.; Stones, R. Women’s reproductive health security and HIV/AIDS in India. Economic and Political Weekly (2003) 38 (39) 4173-4181.