Research has demonstrated that women face not only biological susceptibility to HIV, but also amplified vulnerability due to social factors such as poverty, marginalization, violence, and gender inequity.  The Canadian HIV Women’s Sexual & Reproductive Health Cohort Study, or CHIWOS, was developed to address these issues, and is rolling out in Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia, and has been initiated in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. 

The aims of the study were to: 

  • Assess the proportion, distribution and patterns of use and uptake of women-centred HIV care, and factors associated with service uptake among women living with HIV in Canada. 

  • Estimate the effect of women-centred HIV care uptake on the overall HIV, women’s, mental and sexual and reproductive health outcomes of women living with HIV in Canada.

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CHIWOS & Trans Women Living with HIV

Drawing on CHIWOS data collected from 54 trans women and primary qualitative interviews conducted with a sub-set of 11 trans women from CHIWOS, we examined:

 

  1. The HIV care cascade and factors associated with HIV care cascade outcomes;

  2. Transition and gender-affirming healthcare experiences of trans women living with HIV and;

  3. Resilience and empowerment exhibited by trans women living with HIV as they navigate intersecting stigmas in healthcare settings.

 

Findings suggested a need for multi-level interventions to address barriers to accessing care. Trans women living with HIV resisted and reduced stigma in healthcare settings; however, widespread stigma-reduction training for providers, administrators, and students was recommended.

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