It’s National Day of Women Living with HIV

Yesterday was International Women’s Day, but today March 9th is National Women Living with HIV Day.

The day was created three years ago by the FemmeFatales, an Australia wide group of women living with HIV who form part of the National Association of People with HIV (NAPWA).

While there is a great amount of information directed at men regarding HIV, the group highlight that is equally important for women to be proactive about HIV.

The theme for the day is “Get Tested – Know Your Status’, a call out for women to be empowered and take control of their own health.

The more women who get tested for HIV, the better service providers will get at creating testing regiments, and treatment options that are specific for women.

It is estimated that 11 per cent of people who are living with HIV are unaware they have the virus. Of that cohort, it is estimated that 13 per cent of those are women.

However women are much less likely to get tested HIV meaning they often spend more time being unaware of their status. Today the group behind National Women with HIV status are encouraging all women to include a HIV test as part of their regular sexual health check up.

The FemmeFatales note that nearly half of all heterosexual people diagnosed with HIV are classed as a late diagnosis, meaning on average they have had the virus for four years before it is detected. A late diagnosis means a person’s immune system can be compromised and lead to more health challenges in the future.

Diane Lloyd the Chair of the National Network of Women Living with HIV said it was confronting that in 2018 that there were still women who were unaware of their HIV status.

In Australia there are almost 3,000 women living with HIV, who make up 10% of the population of people living with the virus.

OIP Staff


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