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Most Women With HIV and Their Health Care Providers Have Not Discussed How HIV Might Affect Them Differently Than Men
Date:10/10/2007

Survey Shows Nearly Three-Quarters of Women Struggle in Managing Their

Daily Lives

ATLANTA, Oct. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- New findings from the Women Living Positive survey show a communication gap between women living with HIV and their health care providers when it comes to having important discussions about HIV treatment options that meet their individual needs.

More than half of the women surveyed (55 percent) say they have never discussed with their health care provider how HIV medications might affect women differently than men. However, the survey also shows that, of the 45 percent who did have this discussion, a majority reported that their health care provider answered questions to their satisfaction and made them feel comfortable discussing the issue (96 percent and 95 percent, respectively).

There are now an estimated 300,000 women in the United States living with HIV/AIDS.(1) African-American and Hispanic women make up a combined 24 percent of the U.S. female population, yet their communities shouldered an estimated 79 percent of the burden of HIV/AIDS cases among women in 2005.(2) In addition, each year more than 6,000 HIV-positive women in the United States give birth.(3)

"With the rise of HIV infections in women,(4) it is important to understand their struggles and unique issues when evaluating their care and treatment options," says Kathleen Squires, M.D., Director of Infectious Diseases and Environmental Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and Professor of Medicine at Jefferson Medical College.

"Women living with HIV need to work with their health care provider to discuss important topics including their emotional well-being, family planning considerations and care that best meets their health history and lifestyle."

The majority of women diagnosed with HIV in the United States are of childbearing age.(5) The survey shows many HIV-positive women and their health care
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SOURCE The Well Project
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