To mark International Women's Day (March 8, 2015), Women for Positive Action has launched a practical and informative new educational tool entitled 'Hepatitis and coinfection in women living with HIV'. Led by a global, multidisciplinary group of experts, Women for Positive Action is committed to addressing the specific concerns of women living with HIV. This new tool (download here) offers empowering information to coinfected women and practical guidance to those involved in their care.
In coinfected individuals immunosuppression exerts deleterious effects by greatly accelerating the occurrence of cirrhosis and liver cancer. The complexity of treatment, the double stigma of coinfection and the perceived risk of side effects are all known to adversely affect the emotional wellbeing of patients, and this can be compounded in many women struggling to balance work and family commitments.
"I have been struggling with HIV for years and when I finally got stabilised on HAART, I feared I would die from my liver because of hepatitis C. I failed HCV treatment two times and had to cope with unbearable side effects. Right when I was desperate that I would die from cirrhosis, I got cured thanks to the new HCV drugs - it was like being born a second time." A woman recently cured from HCV.
The HCV landscape has changed dramatically in recent years with the availability of treatments that cure a large proportion of patients; but too often women from high risk groups are left behind. This tailored educational tool will help support those caring for coinfected women to provide practical guidance and respond to their needs on aspects such as treatment, emotional wellbeing, access to care and pregnancy planning. This tool also aims to raise awareness of women and their inclusion in research and access to care in this new era of HCV treatments.
Women for Positive Action