Thoughtfully engaging women in HIV and substance use interventions

In reflecting on the 40 years now since HIV emerged and progress on UNAID’s ambitious targets, RTI researchers recognize the effects of alcohol use on achieving global HIV reduction and treatment goals, particularly as alcohol misuse and gender violence has skyrocketed globally during the COVID-19 pandemic, with women living with HIV who use alcohol particularly at-risk .

For this reason, RTI researchers examined the current state of gender-specific interventions and protocols for people living with HIV who use alcohol.

The article, Current Interventions for People Living with HIV Who Use Alcohol: Why Gender Matters, reviewed 13 intervention articles published between 2018-early 2021, of which 5 were gender-focused, and 3 protocols for ongoing gender-focused studies.

Comprehensive gender-focused approaches are rare and far too often childcare needs disproportionately hinder access to healthcare while also facing financial strain in less equitable employment as compared with men”

The review found some interventions paying particular attention to the importance of gender-specific care and treatment approaches for both HIV and alcohol use, including the inclusion of women’s family networks and systems of support. Further research that is inclusive from a gender lens and for sexual minorities who have HIV and use alcohol is needed to gain a comprehensive understanding of the complicated relationship between gender, HIV, and alcohol use.

Read the full article here.

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