A new study shows that women with HIV receive less effective treatment and care, especially within the first year of being diagnosed as HIV-positive.
Women tend to face significant barriers when trying to get treatment within the first year of diagnosis, according to the University of British Columbia. In fact 52% of women, versus 44% of men, did not achieve HIV viral suppression within six months, which can lead to poorer health and increased risk of HIV transmission. In general, women were 25% more likely than men to receive sub-par care.
On top of that, researchers found that 77% of women regularly use women-specific health providers, but those providers are often ill equipped to deal with HIV.
“Providing HIV-positive individuals with appropriate and timely treatment and care is critical in reducing HIV-related morbidity, mortality and new HIV transmissions,” said Dr. Robert Hogg, Director of the Epidemiology and Population Health Program at the BC-CfE and an author of the study. “These findings highlight the need for women-centred care approaches to ensure that women are receiving comprehensive and high-quality HIV care.”