Information For Women

Information for Women Living with HIV

Almost half of the adults living with HIV and AIDS today are women, however in Australia and many other nations, a stereotype exists that HIV only affects gay men. HIV stereotypes can prevent women and their healthcare providers, from seeing themselves at risk of HIV infection. HIV is not a gay or straight or a male or female disease. HIV is a human disease.

Some women do not access care and treatment as readily as men do, and their care and treatment needs may vary compared to men. The reasons are sometimes multiple and complex. Women have families and life responsibilities that they often put before their own healthcare. They may be isolated geographically and culturally and may fear rejection by family or their community. HIV-positive women are also often under-represented in research.

Women living with HIV benefit from modern HIV treatments as much as men, but there can be some differences in the types of side effects and how often they occur.  If you are a woman living with HIV, it’s important to discuss these issues with your HIV specialist or doctor.

Certain gynaecological conditions are more common in women living with HIV compared to HIV negative women. These conditions can sometimes be more serious and/or more difficult to treat in this population. These conditions include:

  • Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV)
  • Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
  • Fungal Infections (yeast infections, vaginal candidiasis)
  • Menstrual (period) problems and early menopause.

HIV positive women should have regular gynaecological care and Pap smears (cervical cancer screening) since many gynaecological conditions do not have obvious symptoms and can get worse without obvious symptoms.

We have specific information if you are considering having children, and also on menopause, which can affect women living with HIV a little differently to others.

There are some excellent resources below for women living with HIV.  We encourage you to explore.

Living Well – Women with HIV

An excellent Australia specific website containing support information about the key issues for women living with HIV.

The National Network of Women Living with HIV

An advisory group by and for women living with HIV, providing collaboration between those involved in policy and advocacy work for women living with HIV in Australia. 

NAM aidsmap HIV Resources

Provides information for newly diagnosed, and those living with HIV for some time, of all genders about a range of health care issues, including having children.

Global Coalition of Women and AIDS (GCWA)

Provides useful information for women living with HIV around the world.

Your Body Blueprint

Contains information specific for HIV-positive women (and men), and is a great place to get started.

PozHet

Located in NSW, provides resources, information and support for positive heterosexual women and men, their partners and family members.

The Well Project

The Well Project is a non-profit organisation whose mission is to change the course of the HIV/AIDS pandemic through a unique and comprehensive focus on women and girls.

Disclosing to your Child

This fact sheet looks at why and how you might disclose your HIV status to your child. It also shares some of the views and experiences of parents who have not yet disclosed.

Unravelling the Law: Guide for Women Living with HIV/AIDS

This guide, produced by The HIV/AIDS Legal Centre (HALC) NSW, provides basic information on some of the legal issues faced by HIV-positive women.

HIV Futures Survey

HIV Futures is a survey about the health and wellbeing of people living with HIV in Australia published by the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS) at La Trobe University.

Antiretroviral treatment guidelines for HIV-positive women

Access the ASHM Antiretroviral Guidelines website published by the Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM).

Understanding U=U for Women with HIV

This resource provides information for women, around how U=U connects with pregnancy, breastfeeding, and more.

Our trained team is here to help you should you have any questions or need support. You can contact QPP toll free from a Queensland land-line on 1800 636 241 or (07) 3013 5555 nationally, email us at info@qpp.org.au or use our contact us form.

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