Women/Women's Advocacy Resource Connection
HIV is often simply a different disease for women, with a host of distinct issues, both biological and sociological. Biologically, women who have sex with men are more susceptible to HIV than men who have sex with women, and women living with HIV experience different clinical symptoms and complications. Sociologically, women living with HIV face enormous barriers to treatment and care as well as differences in quality of treatment and care compared to men. Gender inequalities such as socioeconomic disparities, domestic violence, and cultural expectations make women more vulnerable to HIV and, for women living with HIV, further marginalize an already marginalized population. These problems are exacerbated by the fact that, while there is great diversity among women with HIV across the country, statistically they are more likely to be poor and women of color. While HIV has become the third leading cause of death among women in the United States, it is the leading cause of death among African-American women ages 25-34.
The Women’s Advocacy Resource Connection (WARC) provides resources that not only analyze HIV as it affects women specifically, but also provide women and other advocates with the tools to reverse these trends. These resources tackle issues such as gender disparities in care, prevention methods, reproductive health and rights, stigma, the rights and needs of young women, and more, with a focus on the experiences of women of color.
We also encourage you to visit the WARC page outside the Resource Bank, which describes our WARC initiative in further detail, and provides information on how you can become involved.
The Health Care Experiences of Women with HIV/AIDS: Insights from a Focus Group
Henry Kaiser Family Foundation
The Kaiser Family Foundation commissioned a racially diverse group study of lower-income women with HIV/AIDS in Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Miami, and Savannah to hear directly from them about their lives and the challenges they face in obtaining a full-range of health care services. The specific issues addressed were barriers to receiving care, interactions with the health care system, relationships with providers, challenges unique to women, knowledge level about their illness, effects of HIV/AIDS on other aspects of their lives, and the information they need and sources they trust. Ideas for improving access to quality health care were distilled from the women’s insights. This study highlights the imperative that all health care professionals be trained and educated about HIV/AIDS issues. Click here to download.
Saving Lives Now: Female Condoms and the Role of U.S. Foreign Aid
Center for Health and Gender Equity
This report focuses on the role that female condoms can play in HIV prevention, and how the United States needs to be the leader in global distribution of, and education about, female condom use. The document’s executive summary explains that, “as international donors and country governments move forward with plans to make male circumcision more accessible and invest millions of dollars into developing microbicides and vaccines, they cannot afford to overlook the only available HIV prevention intervention that was designed to allow women to initiate protection: female condoms.” Click here to download.
Doe v. Division of Youth & Family Services
This complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey on behalf of a woman who was tested for HIV during her pregnancy without her consent, followed by the unauthorized disclosure of her positive HIV serostatus, the involvement of state child protective services, and the forced antiretroviral treatment and temporary removal of her newborn infant. The complaint, filed by the Rutgers School of Law Constitutional Litigation Clinic and the ACLU of New J alleges that the defendants’ actions violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, the New Jersey AIDS Assistance Act, the United States Constitution, and the New Jersey Constitution. The complaint further alleges tortious interference with parental rights, negligence, failure to investigate, and a violation of privacy and familial relationships. Although based in part on New Jersey law, the complaint provides a useful template for advocates representing parents whose difficulties or disagreements with health care providers result in the involvement of child protective services and challenges to their fitness as parents. The complaint’s state law claims could easily be adapted to meet the requirements of other state laws. Click here to download.
The WARC E-Forum: July 12-31, 2010
The Women's Advocacy Resource Connection Electronic Forum (WARC E-Forum) on HIV, human rights, and inequality commenced July 12. The WARC E-Forum aims to gather the shared experiences of women and advocates to address the gaps in civil and human rights protections for women living with HIV in the United States. To join the forum click here.
The Women and HIV Listserv
The Women and HIV Listserv is an email list for women affected by HIV and their advocates. It is a place to share news and studies about policies that affect women with HIV, and to discuss important issues that call for the input and collaboration of women affected by HIV and their allies. More
The Body: Women and HIV/AIDS
Accessible information about HIV treatment, prevention, testing, public policy, and other issues.
Gender and AIDS Web Portal
Up-to-date information on the gender dimensions of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
HIV Law Project, Center for Women and HIV Advocacy
Advocacy training and policy analysis and advocacy for women living with HIV.
International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS (ICW)
An international network run by and for women living with HIV.
National Association of People With AIDS (NAPWA)
A network of people living with AIDS and HIV working to better the quality of life for all.
New Jersey Women and AIDS Network
A female-specific HIV service organization dedicated to reducing the spread of HIV infection in women, supporting the self-determination of women living with HIV/AIDS to better access quality care and treatment, educating service providers, and advocating for appropriate policies in the women and AIDS pandemic.
Positive Women's Network
A membership body led by and for HIV-positive women dedicated to building their strategic power to create and demand policies and programs that fit the realities of their lives.
Resources and tools on HIV/AIDS, poverty, violence, and human rights as they affect women.
Women, Children, and HIV
Resources and information focusing on mother-to-child transmission issues.
Women Organized to Respond to Life-threatening Disease (WORLD)
A community of women living with HIV/AIDS and their supporters, providing information, support, and networking.