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Press Release

From the Shadows: Women, Sex, HIV and Violence -- A Press Conference on How Trauma Drives the HIV Epidemic

Featuring Breaking New Research on the Impact of Violence on Mortality to be Released at AIDS 2012

July 18, 2012

Washington, D.C. -- In the U.S., 1 out of every 4 people living with HIV is a woman. Further, it is estimated that 30% of women living with HIV experience post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) linked to violence and trauma compared to 5.2% in the general population, according to a recent UCSF meta-analysis of almost 6,000 women living with HIV. How does this impact the HIV epidemic in the United States? New data shows that intimate partner violence is a disproportionately high cause of death for HIV-positive women in the U.S.

On March 30, 2012, President Obama released a memorandum establishing a federal interagency workgroup to address the intersection of HIV/AIDS, Violence Against Women and Girls, and Gender-related Health Disparities. Now, advocates say, it's time for action.

"Women are dying unnecessarily," says Gina Brown, a woman openly living with HIV and resident of New Orleans, LA, who will speak at Monday's press conference. "They can live with HIV, but are dying from the effects of violence in their homes and communities. HIV policies and programs must prevent and address the effects of gender-based violence that weave through women's lives."


U.S. Positive Women's Network, a national membership body of women living with HIV, is a proud AIDS 2012 U.S. community partner. We invite you to attend our press conference on Monday, July 23 from 10-10:45 a.m. in the Media Center's Press Conference Room 3.

The press conference will feature breaking new research that will be released at AIDS 2012 on the impact of violence on women's health outcomes, solutions from women openly living with HIV, and a call to action for U.S. federal decision-makers from nationally-recognized advocates on HIV and violence against women. Speakers include:

  • Kathleen Weber, The CORE Center/Cook County Health and Hospital System and Hektoen Institute of Medicine, and Mardge Cohen, M.D., Principal Investigator, Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) and Professor of Medicine, Rush University, announcing new data on the impact of violence on mortality from the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS), the largest longitudinal cohort study of women living with and at risk for HIV in the U.S.
  • Kathleen Griffith, U.S. Positive Women's Network, a woman living with HIV, and member of the national HIV/DV Curriculum Committee for HIV and domestic violence providers.
  • Gina Brown, U.S. Positive Women's Network, a woman living with HIV.
  • Edward Machtinger, M.D., UCSF Professor of Medicine, Director of UCSF's Women's HIV Program, and Principal Investigator of two recent studies clarifying the disproportionately high rates of trauma and PTSD faced by HIV-positive women as well as the crucial impact of trauma on key health outcomes and transmission risk behaviors.
  • Paulette Sullivan Moore, Policy Vice President, National Network to End Domestic Violence.
  • Moderated by Naina Khanna, U.S. Positive Women's Network Coordinator and woman living with HIV.

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This article was provided by Positive Women's Network of the United States of America. Visit PWN-USA's website to find out more about their activities and publications.
See Also
What Did You Expect While You Were Expecting?
HIV/AIDS Resource Center for Women

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Please note: Knowledge about HIV changes rapidly. Note the date of this summary's publication, and before treating patients or employing any therapies described in these materials, verify all information independently. If you are a patient, please consult a doctor or other medical professional before acting on any of the information presented in this summary. For a complete listing of our most recent conference coverage, click here.