LONDON, March 4 /CNW/ - To mark International Women's Day (March 8, 2010) Women for Positive Action are launching a series of tools to raise awareness of the challenges facing women living with HIV/AIDS today. Women for Positive Action (WFPA) is led by a broad coalition of healthcare professionals, women living with HIV and community representatives from Europe, Canada and Latin America. This global initiative aims to support health care professionals and women living with HIV through the provision of resources, which are available for download, in English and Spanish, at http://www.womenforpositiveaction.org.
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"Women living with HIV face many challenges as a consequence of their disease and its treatment including depression, guilt, isolation, discrimination and body image concerns" said Sharon Walmsley, Director of HIV Clinical Research, University of Toronto, Canada, "The new WFPA resources will encourage education and stimulate communication between women with HIV and those who care for them". The educational resources include information on current best practices and research, in addition to informative case studies.
WFPA brings together a unique combination of those involved in the care of women living with HIV with the first-hand perspectives of those living with HIV themselves. Ophelia Haanyama 0rum, Senior Advisor, Global Partnerships on HIV and AIDS, Noah's Ark Foundation, Stockholm, Sweden added "The women living with HIV represented in the WFPA initiative welcome the opportunity to incorporate our experiences and expertise into health and social care solutions for women everywhere who are affected by HIV." The group aims to empower, educate and support the needs of women living with HIV, their healthcare professionals and community advocates involved in their care.
The theme for International Women's Day this year is 'Equal rights, equal opportunities: Progress for all', and provides the ideal opportunity to consider the unique impact of HIV on women. Understanding the effect of the disease is a key step in improving the lives of women and working towards bridging gender inequalities in HIV.
Globally an estimated 33 million people are living with HIV. Women make up about 50% of HIV cases and a higher proportion of new diagnoses compared with men. This means that the share of HIV infection among women is increasing in several countries. Young women, in sub-Saharan Africa, aged 15-24 are three to four times more likely to become infected than young men (UNAIDS, 2009). The most common mode of infection is by heterosexual transmission and most women with HIV are of childbearing potential. Furthermore, women with HIV are more likely to present at a later stage of HIV infection than men. Visit http://www.womenforpositiveaction.org for further information about WFPA and ongoing projects. WFPA is supported by a grant from Abbott.
UNAIDS 2009, http://www.unaids.org/en/default.asp
For further information please contact:
Women for Positive Action
151 Shaftesbury Avenue
London WC2H 8AL
SOURCE WOMEN FOR POSITIVE ACTION
For further information: For further information: For further information please contact: Women for Positive Action, Program Secretariat, Litmus MME, 151 Shaftesbury Avenue, London WC2H 8AL, United Kingdom, Tel: +44(0)20-7632-1815, WFPA@litmus-mme.com