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Statement by the chairman of the Technical Working Group on the Demographic and Economic Impact of HIV Infection / AIDS in Women and Children.
In: International Conference on the Implications of AIDS for Mothers and Children: technical statements and selected presentations jointly organized by the Government of France and the World Health Organization, Paris, 27-30 November 1989. Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, Global Programme on AIDS, 1989. 44-6. (WHO/GPA/DIR/89.12)Extrapolation modelling of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) epidemic suggests a cumulative total of 1 million cases of AIDS worldwide in adults by 1991. Although major increases in child mortality rates are anticipated in areas with a high prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in women, few projections have been made specifically for women and children. If HIV-infected women and their children are to be allocated adequate resources in terms of their health and social service needs, this deficit must be addressed. In severely affected areas, such as Central Africa, AIDS in women and children can be expected to consume more economic resources than any other disease. Even in developed countries, direct medical car costs for children with AIDS are higher than those for adult AIDS patients. In general, research must prioritize projections of the numbers and trends of HIV infections and AIDS cases in women and children as well as disease-related costs. Attention must also be given to the indirect costs associated with AIDS in women in developing countries. Women's contribution to Third World economies is often equal to that of their male counterparts due to women's role as food producers and homemakers. Evaluations of the costs of HIV infection in women and children should be conducted within the context of the prevalence and costs of other diseases also in need of resource allocation.