Recently, UNAIDS released a report titled, “Fast Track – Ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030,” which cited the need to accelerate the availability of HIV prevention and treatment tools. The International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC) has taken on this challenge along with the help of HIV advocates and AbbVie. Together, they have developed the See Us: Women Take a Stand on HIV dialogue tools for women living with HIV and their healthcare providers. With these tools, meaningful discussions about treatment, disease management, life stages, and psychosocial needs, can take place between women living with HIV and their healthcare providers.
I had the chance to catch up with Imane Sidibé, MSc, and Director of Strategic Initiatives at IAPAC, after speaking with her about the See Us campaign a few months ago. She reminded me that HIV infects one woman every minute. Globally, 49% of adults living with HIV are females. The increasing prevalence among women has made HIV an important women’s health issue. Imane pointed out that many of these women have limited knowledge about HIV and can feel isolated after receiving their diagnosis. By creating these dialogue tools, women no longer have to feel alone during this journey. Women across the world will benefit from the universal dialogue tools that include both clinical information and educational patient information. Health care providers will also benefit from the dialogue tool developed specifically for physicians highlighting all of the key information surrounding treatment for a woman with HIV.
IAPAC and members of the Steering Committee have distributed print copies and the dialogue tools are also all available online. They are available in seven different languages, which guarantees that they can be distributed universally. The tools address the initial visit for women who may be accessing care for the first time and provide a pathway to navigate key conversations with her provider. At the same time, the tool can be kept as a reference and re-used later on as care considerations evolve during the woman’s lifetime. Most importantly, the tools look at key considerations during the different stages of life that a woman with HIV may be facing ̶ an adolescent tool to address the unique needs for this age group, along with a childbearing age tool and a menopause tool. Using these dialogue tools, women will more easily navigate reproductive choices and have the knowledge to choose how to move forward during this time period. Women will be able to look at healthy aging and key considerations that come into play during menopause. Overall, the tools address the key issues women with HIV face while facilitating communication and meaningful discussions with their healthcare providers.
Be sure to check on the tools here! Look out for the continuous development of the campaign and the growth of these dialogue tools in 2015!