HRSA Publishes Landmark Treatment Guide for HIV+ Women

A Guide to the Clinical Care of Women With HIV/AIDS, published by HRSA in 2001, is now the primary textbook on the treatment of women with HIV the world over. It was the first manual written specifically on the medical treatment of women with HIV. In the year the guide was published, HIV infection in the United States was the fifth leading cause of death among women between ages 25 and 44.*

The guide is a compilation by 13 authors and edited by Jean R. Anderson of Johns Hopkins University. It is periodically updated to reflect the latest information in the field and a new edition is slated for release in 2011.

“This manual could not be more timely,” said then U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson. “Information in this guide will help clinicians improve treatment and save the lives of HIV-positive women and their babies.”

The epidemic among women was addressed in other key HRSA responses, even before the Ryan White CARE Act was enacted. Pediatric AIDS Service Demonstration projects, first funded in 1988, laid the groundwork for the Women, Infants, Children, Youth and their Families Program (Title IV, now Part D). Many meetings, seminars, and trainings have been devoted to women and HIV.

Despite just a handful of diagnoses among women in the early years of the epidemic, by the late 1980s new infections were growing faster among women than among men. Initially, the disease spread among women predominantly through intravenous drug use, but by 1994, heterosexual contact had become the most common transmission category for women.