My Solution


Project 3

Drugs and Syringe Exchange Programs

Current Efforts


Education and the Church

Plan of Prevention







Drug use and its effect on Women


One major problem with health services does not involve the services themselves; it involves those who use them. According to Solomon et al. (1998), although most women were insured, only 11 % were privately insured. Seropositive women were also less likely to have insurance than seronegative women, but seropositive women are more likely to go to a clinic than a seronegative woman. 74 % of seronegative women go to a regular clinic and only 37 % have been hospitalized in the past six months whereas 89 % of seropositive women go to a regular clinic and 49 % have been hospitalized in the past two months. Seropositive women could be hospitalized for various reasons, but when relating to seronegative women it seems that HIV dramatically affects how often one visits a doctor (2).  Drug use does not only hurt someone physically, it hurts them mentally; drug use and depression are considerably associated with each other. Both drug use and depression combined suppress the use of antiretroviral drugs that help combat HIV/AIDS but it is important to take note that depression symptoms alone do not suppress the use of antiretroviral drugs. This reveals that while illicit drug use is related to the use of antiretroviral drugs, symptoms of depression are not (3).

Extreme cases of depression lead to suicidal thoughts. Of a group of 207 women, 26 % attempted suicide since their HIV diagnosis. Also, 86 % reported that they had either suicidal thoughts or attempted suicide at least once since diagnosis (4). One possible reason for these suicidal thoughts could be related to one’s spouse. Women who lived with a spouse were 12 times more likely to contract HIV/AIDS while participating in high risk behavior than women who do not live with spouses (5). If a woman found out her spouse gave her HIV/AIDS, that would be a tremendous blow to her psychologically. This could start a downward spiral which could end up in suicidal thoughts. According to Rosenfield et al. (2006), hopelessness was most correlated with suicidal thoughts. In order to prevent feelings of hopelessness and suicide, health centers could provide women’s services and counseling, especially to female drug users (6).