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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

providers aren't discussing how HIV treatment options might affect a pregnancy until after they conceive. Most women surveyed who are or have been pregnant (57 percent) did not discuss pregnancy and appropriate HIV treatments for pregnancy with their health care provider before becoming pregnant. In addition, a majority of HIV-positive women surveyed report that daily life is a struggle. Approximately three-quarters (73 percent) of respondents indicated that living with HIV has caused them to struggle a "great deal" or "somewhat" in managing their daily lives, and 60 percent say living with HIV has made their daily chores and activities more difficult.

"The Women Living Positive survey concludes that there is a communication gap between women and their health care providers when discussing HIV treatment options appropriate for them," says Dawn Averitt Bridge, founder and Chair of the Board of The Well Project, a non-profit organization for women affected by HIV, and an HIV-positive mother. "We hope the survey findings will encourage discussion between women and their health care providers about HIV medications that best meet their individual needs. The good news is the survey found that, when these types of conversations happened, the majority of women were satisfied and comfortable with the experience."

Additional Survey Findings

Nearly all HIV-positive women surveyed say long-term success with medications and the ability to live a normal life is "essential" or "very important" when deciding on HIV treatment options. Many women also report that HIV affects their ability to care for their families and many report experiencing symptoms commonly associated with depression. More than one-quarter of women surveyed (27 percent) have often experienced five or more symptoms commonly associated with depression (e.g., changes in sleep patterns, loss of energy, unexplained aches or pains, and feelings of sadness).

More than half of respondents (52 per
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SOURCE The Well Project
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