WHO Finds AIDS Is Leading Cause of Death Among Women

AIDS is the primary cause of death among women in the 15 to 44 age group, according to a World Health Organization study. The study—the first completed by the WHO on women's health across the globe—says that unsafe sex is the main risk factor in developing countries, and that globally, one in five women die for reasons related to unsafe sex. Dr. Margaret Chan, head of the WHO, said poverty, poor access to health care, and unequal treatment based on gender put women at a severe disadvantage, despite their biological tendency to live longer than men. "We will not see a significant improvement in the health of women until they are no longer recognized as second-class citizens in many parts of the world," she said.