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WASHINGTON, Nov. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- The International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC) in collaboration with a global steering committee focused on women and HIV today launched a series of dialogue tools to strengthen conversations between healthcare providers and women living with HIV. The tools, made available in advance of World AIDS Day, December 1, 2014, were created to help improve the relationship, experience and care between women living with HIV and their healthcare providers.
The dialogue tool series is the first patient—and healthcare provider—focused resource to come out of See Us: Women Take a Stand on HIV (See Us), a global campaign founded in 2013 dedicated to improving the lives of women living with HIV. Spearheaded by IAPAC, the tools were developed in conjunction with the medical community and an expert steering committee of women living with and affected by HIV. The tools provide guidance for women's evolving care considerations.
Information about mental and physical well-being, protection and care options, along with other important topics are included, as well as how these may change throughout the stages of life. A separate guide for each stage of a woman's life – adolescence, childbearing, and menopause and beyond – is available, along with separate versions for patients and providers.
"Women living with HIV are a highly underserved community. New resources are needed to help facilitate and improve dialogue between women living with HIV and their healthcare providers," said Imane Sidibe, Associate Director of Strategic Initiatives at IAPAC, and See Us steering committee member. "It is our hope that these tools serve as a powerful catalyst for change to improve the care and support women deserve."
The tools are available in seven languages (English, Romanian, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Russian and French) and will be distributed through grassroots efforts in countries around the world and on the IAPAC website.
Women living with HIV account for 49 percent of the total adult patient population living with HIV globally.1 Incidence is on the rise due to lack of awareness, stigma, discrimination, gender, violence and other issues. These issues often translate into significant barriers for not seeking prevention, testing, care and treatment services. All people living with HIV need to be cared for according to their individualized needs, and this holds true particularly for women whose care considerations change as they age.
"As a woman living with HIV for more than a decade, I know firsthand the importance of having comprehensive resources and support," said Kamaria Laffrey, HIV/AIDS consultant, community health worker and See Us steering committee member. "We created these dialogue tools to make sure all women living with HIV are empowered to seek information and engage in meaningful conversations with their healthcare providers to help ensure they are receiving the best care possible."
To learn more about the dialogue tools and See Us, visit www.IAPAC.org/seeus and follow the campaign hashtag #WomenofHIV on social media to engage in the conversation.
See Us: Women Take a Stand on HIV (See Us) is an international awareness campaign focused on helping to address the unique challenges faced by women living with HIV. The campaign was launched in December 2013 and is spearheaded by International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC) in collaboration with an expert steering committee, the National AIDS Manual (NAM) and the medical community in Argentina, Canada, Italy, Nigeria, Poland, Romania, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.
See Us was made possible through funding provided by AbbVie.
Women are a fast-growing group within the population of people living with HIV worldwide.2 Every minute, one young woman is infected by HIV, mainly through sexual transmission.1 Globally, some 49 percent of all adults living with HIV are female.1 Infection rates among women aged 15–24 are twice as high as in young men.1 Women have different care considerations from men, including pregnancy, increased risk for cervical cancer, and premature menopause and osteoporosis.3 HIV is the leading cause of death and disease in women of reproductive age around the world.4
The International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC) represents more than 20,000 clinicians and allied healthcare professionals in over 100 countries. Its mission is to improve the quality of prevention, care, treatment, and support services provided to men, women, and children living with HIV/AIDS. Visit www.IAPAC.org for more information about IAPAC and its global activities.
AbbVie is a global, research-based biopharmaceutical company formed in 2013 following separation from Abbott Laboratories. The company's mission is to use its expertise, dedicated people and unique approach to innovation to develop and market advanced therapies that address some of the world's most complex and serious diseases. AbbVie employs approximately 25,000 people worldwide and markets medicines in more than 170 countries. For further information on the company and its people, portfolio and commitments, please visit www.abbvie.com. Follow @abbvie on Twitter or view careers on our Facebook or LinkedIn page.
1 Women Out Loud. UNAIDS. Accessed Sept. 26, 2013
2 AIDS Epidemic Update December 2004. UNAIDS and WHO. Accessed Sept. 26, 2013
3 Guide for HIV/AIDS Clinical Care, Health Care of HIV-Infected Women Through the Life Cycle, April 2014. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, HIV/AIDS Bureau. Accessed August 11, 2014
4 Women and Health: Today's Evidence Tomorrow's Agenda. WHO. Accessed August 11, 2014