Women left out of HIV services as they focus too much on

first_imgWomen’s HIV is not being treated early enough, the Terence Higgins Trust has said, as it warns that campaigns are too focused on gay men. The charity’s research shows that almost half of women with HIV thought they had been diagnosed late, which could shorten their lives and mean their health is worse. Public health experts interviewed by the charity “felt that overall there had been a disproportionate focus on men who have sex with men (MSM) in the HIV response with one stakeholder suggesting that the sector had ‘taken its eye off the ball’ when it came to HIV and women”, the report said. In 2016, 28,479 women in the UK were receiving care for HIV, around a third of the total.Women who had been diagnosed late “were less likely to rate their quality of life as very good, were more likely to rate their quality of life as poor or acceptable, and were more likely to say that their quality of life had got worse since diagnosis”, the report added. Almost half of women interviewed had had a mental health diagnosis since their HIV diagnosis and a similar proportion were living below the poverty line.  Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. ‘We hope this project will send a strong signal to researchers, service providers, decision-makers and the HIV sector as a whole, to support the urgent need to make sure women are invisible no longer in HIV.”Commenting on the report, Maria Miller, chair of the women and equalities committee, said: “There have been incredible female activists who have stood up, and continue to fight for the rights of women living with HIV.”But women have too often been the silent partner when it comes to HIV. This must change.”The issues raised in this report are familiar to me in many ways – time and again women’s issues are not prioritised and addressed.”center_img Jacqui Stevenson, a trustee of the Sophia Forum, which also worked on the research, said: ‘We must see gender equity in funding, data, services and research to ensure adequate support is available for any woman living with HIV who needs it.last_img read more