Healthcare Centred on Women's Needs and Lived Experience
WHAI is working with communities across Ontario to foster models of healthcare that are based on women’s needs and lived experiences.
ABOUT WOMEN-CENTRED CARE
Despite the overall advances in medication and care for people living with HIV, stigma and discrimination continue to impact women's health and well-being.
Women living with HIV described many challenges when accessing health and social support services. In WHAI’s Community Consultations, women and service providers across Ontario described barriers in women’s access to specialist care, family physicians, and other healthcare supports.
THE IMPACT OF A GENDERED APPROACH
A gendered approach to care recognizes women's comprehensive needs and ensures that healthcare advances benefit populations equitably.
In WHAI's Community Consultations, many women living with HIV expressed a desire to have coordinated and integrated services that address both HIV and women's healthcare needs.
Women-Centred Care acknowledges community perspectives and is based on women's experiences. This work also needs to be culturally appropriate, HIV-informed, and holistic to be inclusive.
CENTRING WOMENS EXPERIENCES
"We need services that are specific to women and family. As women, we are not individual, we have family. Some have a husband/partner, some have children. I would like to see my children get involved [in issues or care related to living with HIV]."
— Woman living with HIV, Ontario
"… Services have to be specific to women, in terms of reproductive health, violence. It’s not that violence is experienced only by women, but women-specific services are not available so we don’t feel recognized or acknowledged in all of this."
— Woman living with HIV, Envisioning Women-Centered HIV Care: Perspectives from Women Living with HIV in Canada (2017).
WHAT IS WHAI DOING?
WHAI is building the capacity of service providers to understand the complex and intersectional health care needs of women living with and at systemic risk for HIV.
WHAI is working with communities to build the capacity of service providers to understand how HIV risk intersects with stigma, substance use, violence, economic insecurity, and community and emotional wellness.