Reproductive Health in Low Income Women Essay

Reproductive Health in Low Income Women Essay

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The District of Columbia (D.C) is made up of 52.8% females, 54% African Americans, and 40.6% Caucasians. Of the roughly 600,000 living in D.C., 101,400 (or 16.9%) are living below the poverty line (US Census, 2009). Over the years, the poverty rate in D.C. has continued to grow. With this number growing, there is a profound need to learn more about the women that are being affected. That being said, it is important to learn more about sexual and reproductive health in low-income women. In the District of Columbia, many women are living below the poverty life and are thus unable to get the help that they need in regards to their sexual and reproductive health. As researchers, there is a need to investigate why this is and what can be done to fix it. Through this research paper, there will be a large focus on low income women, their rates of and what barriers they may face with regards to Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency (HIV/AIDS), Sexually Transmitted Disease’s (STD’s), Breast Cancer and Cervical Cancer.
As of December 31, 2008, there were 16,513 residents of DC living with HIV/AIDS. Of the residents, 75.6% were African American. This large number gets more devastating when it is seen that one in every 21 African Americans in D.C. has HIV/AIDS and African American women are 17 times more likely to have HIV/AIDS than a Caucasian women (DC Department of Health, 2009). When studying testing rates for HIV/AIDS, Medina (2009) found that most of the participants in the study were self-motivated to get tested. After the initial test, participants had a slightly higher chance of reducing risky sexual behavior. However, the study also found that testing was not a method that should be used to sustain consistent...


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...) set up free, easy to access care for low-income women. Even when the testing was free and easy to access, many women still did not participate. In addition, they found that less mammogram usage is associated with low income women, as 36.4% to 54% of the low income women that were seen had never had a mammogram.
The studies above have found three main points that will be used in the rest of this research article. First and foremost, DC has a high number of reproductive illnesses among women of low-income that need to be addressed. Secondly, there is a definite need to address the income barrier, as many studies show that income and insurance are high predictors of sexual health testing and treatment. Lastly, minority women are more likely to have reproductive diseases, and are also less likely to be diagnosed in a timely matter, and thus treated appropriately.

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