This article outlines the information currently available on the effects of HIV/AIDS and antiretroviral therapy on the menstrual cycle and menopausal symptoms and treatment, with summaries of and references to relevant clinical studies. Included is information on menorrhagia (excessive bleeding during menstruation) and amenorrhea (absence of menstruation), osteopenia (bone thinning) and osteoporosis (bone atrophy) and HIV, hormone replacement therapy, and menopausal symptom management. The article also covers screening tests that should be offered to women at various points, diagnostic tests for menstrual abnormalities, and medications for preventing or reversing osteoporosis. This article may be useful to women with HIV and their medical providers in anticipating and responding to health issues related to the menstrual cycle, and for advocates attempting to establish the unique medical and service (and funding) needs of HIV-positive women.
The Center for HIV Law and Policy challenges barriers to the rights and health of people affected by HIV through legal advocacy, high-impact policy initiatives, and creation of cross-issue partnerships, networks, and resources. We support movement building that amplifies the power of individuals and communities to mobilize for change that is rooted in racial, gender, and economic justice.