According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, in 2011, women represented about one quarter, or 24%, of all new HIV cases. Of those women who tested positive, 77% of the cases were attributed to sex with a male partner.It is true that statistics are helpful in monitoring rates of HIV transmission and prevalence; statistics do not convey the social context in which women live.Women experience unique biological and social factors that may increase their risk of HIV, therefore, when providing prevention services for women we utilize an approach that takes these unique factors into consideration. Similarly, when providing support for women living with HIV, we use a holistic approach that encompasses an individual woman’s experiences, needs, and desires.
It’s impossible to talk about women and HIV and not talk about the diverse issues that affect the conditions in which women live and the choices we make.
Programming for Women
We provide HIV/HCV/STI prevention information to women directly through one on one sessions when women drop into our offices or over the phone.We also provide information sessions, workshops and advise on the development of policy for organizations and health-related professionals that serve women. This may take the form of outreach, informational counselling and support, or more formal workshop presentation. We also take part in national sexual health campaigns as a local partner, and we always have free condoms and lube available at our offices for free, no questions asked.
One of our most popular workshops is “Creating safer spaces for women’s HIV prevention: A harm reduction approach”– typically delivered to service providers who primarily work with women– but is not limited to women-focused organizations only. We can also design workshops to meet specific needs of your particular group.We have previously worked with women-focused organizations, such as local shelters and transition houses, to provide training to staff and volunteers around issues such as universal precautions, HIV and STI prevention, Hepatitis C prevention, and creating supportive policy and procedures for the women they serve.
HIV & Women’s Rights
Women and HIV: Prevention
HIV & AIDS: Basic Facts (bilingual)
CATIE- FACTSHEET: Women and the Biology of HIV Transmission
BRAZEN: Trans Women’s Safer Sex Guide
Women Lovin': A sexual health guide for queer women
Women: Taking Care of Ourselves
Women & HIV Prevention in Canada