‘Women make up 1/3 of all people living with HIV, but have been mainly invisible in the response to HIV in the UK.’
This is according to the March 2018 project report (pdf) from the Sophia Forum and Terrence Higgins Trust, which sets out clear recommendations for policy and service development to ensure that greater focus is given to women affected by HIV.
This project aims to shed light on women’s experiences living with HIV, their needs and available support.
The report finds:
- 45% of women living with HIV in the UK live below the poverty line
- 58% of women have experienced violence and abuse, partly relating to their HIV status
- 31% of women have avoided or delayed attending healthcare in the past year due to fear of discrimination.
The report gives recommendations for addressing the neglect of women with HIV:
- Achieve gender parity in the UK HIV response
- Ensure that HIV research addresses specific knowledge gaps around HIV and women and supports women’s participation
- Prioritise reducing late diagnosis of HIV among women
- Improve data collection and disaggregation on HIV and women, including sexuality data for women in reporting
- Invest in HIV support services, that meet women’s needs, including support for mental health and gender-based violence.