HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson today announced
the release of The Clinical Guide for the Care of Women with HIV, believed
to be the first
manual specifically written for the medical treatment of women
manual provides practical, experience-based advice and authoritative
treatment guidelines for clinicians treating women with HIV.
"This new manual could not be more timely,"
Secretary Thompson said."HIV infection among women
has become the fifth leading cause of death among women between
the ages of 25 and 44.
Information in this guide will help clinicians improve
treatment and save the lives of HIV-positive women and their
Recent statistics confirm HIV's increasing
threat to women.Of
the 43,517 new cases of HIV in the United States reported
from July 1999 through June 2000, 24 percent were among women.
Even more ominously, in the 32 states with confidential
HIV reporting, adolescent and young women in the 13-24 age
group make up more than half of the new cases of HIV infection.In 1985, by contrast, women represented just 6 percent
of the reported 10,000 U.S. AIDS cases.
The virus can be especially tragic for
pregnant women.Many women learn they are HIV-positive only after giving birth
to an infant with HIV, yet diagnosis and treatment before
birth can almost always prevent transmission of the virus
to the newborn.
"We knew from our research that women with
HIV are less likely to be seen regularly by a clinician experienced
in HIV/AIDS care and less likely to get the drugs they need
to fight the virus," said Elizabeth
M. Duke, Ph.D., acting administrator of HHS' Health Resources
and Services Administration."This manual responds to clinicians in HRSA-supported
community health centers who asked us for better information
on caring for the increasing number of women they saw with
Jean Anderson, associate professor of gynecology and obstetrics
at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, served
as the guide's editor.Dr. Anderson, an expert in treating women with HIV,
assembled a team of clinicians to contribute chapters in their
areas of expertise.Eleven of the 13 contributors are women.
The document, published by HHS' Health
Resources and Services Administration, includes suggestions,
comments and revisions to the preliminary version that HRSA
first distributed at last year's 13th International
AIDS Conference in South Africa.(The 2005 version is available at http://hab.hrsa.gov/publications/womencare05/.)
HRSA's HIV/AIDS Bureau administers the Ryan White CARE Act,
which annually provides HIV/AIDS care and support services for
more than 500,000 low-income, underinsured or uninsured Americans.HRSA is the lead HHS agency for improving access to health
care for individuals and families nationwide.