Community consultation on an HIV clinic for black women and women of colour
L.-A. Green-Walker, N. Massaquoi, W. Tharao, M. Muchenje
Women's Health in Women's Hands CHC, Toronto, Canada
Health in Women's Hands Community Health Centre (WHIWH-CHC) is committed to
increasing the health of women from African, Caribbean, Latin American, and
South Asian communities living in Toronto,
developing and delivering health care services and strategies designed to
address chronic diseases that impact their health. In 1997 we identified and prioritized HIV as
a chronic disease of concern to women from our priority populations. In June of 2009, a comprehensive needs
assessment was conducted to determine whether or not an HIV Clinic located at
WHIWH would be the most desirable strategy for providing services, support and
care to Black women and women of colour living with HIV/AIDS.
Objective of presentation: To
highlight key factors and complexities which impact the ability of racialized
women living with HIV to access adequate health care services and support.
a. Key informant interviews were held with
family physicians, mental health professionals, HIV/AIDS workers, and medical
b. Focus groups were conducted with 35 African, Caribbean, Latin American, and South Asian HIV positive women to
identify gaps and overlaps in health care service needs.
from focus groups and in-depth interviews indicate the inadequacy of main
stream health care services and support available to racialized HIV positive women
including: issues with confidentiality and anonymity; significant systemic
barriers such as racism, sexism, and classism; differential treatment due to
immigration status; lack of mental health support; and inappropriate disclosure
of their medical history.
Conclusions: In meeting
the complex needs of HIV positive women from racialized communities, the establishment
of a dedicated, comprehensive community-based HIV clinic with a case management
component is essential. The HIV clinic should be modeled from best practices and
differ from mainstream HIV related health care services.
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