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Women and HIV: taking action together

Women and HIV: taking action together

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Today Terrence Higgins Trust and Sophia Forum launch a new project which aims to shed light on and encourage action to address the impact that HIV has on women in the UK.

Around a third of people living with HIV in the UK are women, and a quarter of all new diagnoses are in women. Yet women living with and affected by HIV have been mainly invisible in the narrative and response to HIV in the UK.

We know little about what it means to be a women in the UK living with or at risk of HIV. We know little about what there needs are or what interventions are in place to meet these needs. 

But we do know that women are not seen as a 'key target' for HIV interventions. This must change.

‘HIV and Women: Invisible No Longer’ is a one-year project led by Terrence Higgins Trust and Sophia Forum which aims to shine a spotlight on women. It will draw on existing literature and evidence and generate new data to provide a comprehensive overview of the situation for women in the UK living with or who are vulnerable to acquiring HIV.

The project will conclude in spring 2018 with a report setting out clear recommendations for policy and service development. Together we’ll host a conference that will bring together women living with and affected by HIV and key decision makers, to push for change and ensure that women’s needs are fully met in the response to HIV. 

The project will be co-produced with women living with and affected by HIV and will draw on their experiences to understand what HIV means for women.

We are keen to involve as many women as possible in the project, and we’ll shortly start recruiting three women living with or affected by HIV to be trained as peer-researchers. We’re also looking for women to share their experience of living with HIV for the research.

The project is funded by Terrence Higgins Trust’s Lighthouse Fund. This was created to preserve the lasting legacy of the London Lighthouse in west London, following its sale in 2015, by investing the funds back into projects that will change the lives of people living with and affected by HIV.

Together we’re taking action, and you can too. If you are a women living with or affected by HIV and would like to be involved in this project, please contact Laura on research@tht.org.uk.

Debbie LaycockDebbie Laycock is Head of Policy at the Terrence Higgins Trust.
Jacqui StevensonJacqui Stevenson is Trustee at the Sophia Forum.

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