Many of the clients served by The Women’s Collective have experienced violence, including domestic violence and sexual assault. There has been increasing recognition of the intersection of HIV and gender-based violence.[i] Violence can increase risk for contracting HIV infection, and vice versa. In cases where violence occurs prior to HIV infection, women and girls are often unable to negotiate condom use or safe sex practices. In addition, a sexual assault may leave a female victim more vulnerable to HIV transmission. In other cases, violence can follow HIV disclosure. Partners may blame female partners for their infection, tamper with HIV medication, and interfere with female partners’ ability to attend medical appointments.
- Integrating trauma-informed care into HIV care delivery
- Ensuring that all women have the resources and support to maintain healthy and safe relationships
- The inclusion of healthy relationship education in health educational standards
- Outreach efforts and resources tailored to the needs of teens and young adults
- Training in cultural competency and HIV for all trauma, sexual violence, and domestic violence service providers.
- Engaging and educating PLUS+ (Positive Leaders Uplifting Sisters) network to engage and educate lawmakers and policymakers.
- Collaborating with and supporting the work of the DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and Saving Promise.
[i] Addressing the Intersection of HIV/AIDS, Violence against Women and Girls, & Gender-Related Health Disparities. Interagency Federal Working Group Report. September 2013.