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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Women's Equity in Access to Care and Treatment (WE-ACTx): A Model for Care and Empowerment for Women with HIV

Mardge Cohen, MD, The CORE Center, 2020 W. Harrison, Chicago, IL 60612, 312-572-4551, mcohen@corecenter.org, Anne-christine D'Adesky, MS, Women's Equity in Access to Care and Treatment, 3345 22nd Street, San Francisco, CA 94110, and Kathryn Anastos, MD, Epidemiology, Montefiore Medical Center, 3311 Bainbridge Avenue, Bronx, NY 10467.

Issues: An estimated 60%-70% of 250,000 Rwandan women survivors raped during the 1994 genocide are HIV-positive, some deliberately exposed to HIV as a “slow poison.” Women's Equity in Access to Care and Treatment (WE-ACTx) began working in Rwanda in 2004 in response to an urgent request for help from AVEGA, a widow's network of genocidal rape survivors.

Description: WE-ACTx is an international grassroots nonprofit initiative launched by frontline AIDS physicians, activists and researchers experienced in caring and advocating for HIV-positive women. WE-ACTx's mission is to increase women's and children's access to HIV testing, care, antiretroviral treatment, trauma support, education and training in resource-limited settings at the grassroots level to empower HIV-positive women and girls to take charge of their lives and become leaders in the fight against AIDS.

Lessons Learned: : Success of our Rwanda Women's Treatment Access Initiative required a “public-private' partnership in collaboration with the Rwandan government's AIDS and health units and over 14 Rwandan NGOs with tens of thousands of clients. WE-ACTx offers services to overcome obstacles to care for poor people, including transportation, food, medical tests and medication, hospitalization, education, jobs and social services.

Recommendations: Provision of antiretrovirals responds to a demand for treatment and serves as a form of justice and catalyst to healing for genocide and rape survivors. Offering technical assistance and capacity building, training and a range of clinical and non-clinical services has empowered women with HIV and their families to take charge of their health and recovery and live healthy lives.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, the participant (learner) in this session will be able to

Keywords: Women and HIV/AIDS, Public Health Advocacy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Human Rights: War, Rape and HIV in Women

The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA