A new Supplement of the peer-reviewed journal, Women’s Health Issues, a publication of the Jacobs Institute of Women’s Health at the GW School of Public Health and Health Services, provides in-depth information about gender-specific health considerations of U.S. women and girls in the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The special Supplement, which includes recommendations for national strategic programmatic improvements to meet their needs, was sponsored by the Office on Women’s Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Additional funding support for the Supplement was provided by the HHS Health Resources and Services Administration and the NIH National Institute on Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Free full-text access to the supplement’s articles can be found online at http://www.whijournal.com/supplements.
Titled “Bringing Gender Home: Implementing Gender-Responsive HIV/AIDS Programming for U.S. Women and Girls,” the Supplement features commentaries by leaders in the HHS Office of HIV/AIDS Policy, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, the Office of AIDS Research and the Office of Research on Women’s Health of the National Institutes of Health, and the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In the opening commentary of the Supplement, Guest Editor Anna Forbes discusses the two-day Forum convened in 2010 by the HHS Office on Women’s Health in conjunction with UNAIDS and provides an overview of the detailed recommendations arising from this important meeting. The Supplement includes a matrix of all recommendations the Forum participants devised.
“The Office on Women's Health values the insight given by our many community, public, private and international partners in convening the Gender Forum. All together, they keep us abreast of concerns and real issues confronting U.S. women and girls,” said Dr. Nancy C. Lee, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health (Women’s Health), and Director, Office on Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
“We are committed to enhancing our response to the epidemic in U.S. women and girls, and I believe that a number of the Gender Forum recommendations will help us do so,” said Dr. Ronald O. Valdiserri, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health, Infectious Diseases, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The Supplement also includes nine peer-reviewed invited articles addressing the unique and diverse needs of women and girls with, or at risk for, HIV infection. Among the topics addressed are: gender and racial/ethnic disparities, human rights issues, violence prevention, American Indian and Alaska Native women, criminal justice issues, transgender health considerations, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and a call for social action in HIV prevention efforts.
“This issue contains the work of outstanding experts in the field who expand on the priorities raised in the Forum,” noted Guest Editor Anna Forbes. “Thus, it provides us with a real-time, real-world look at the status of the U.S. response to HIV among women and girls and exactly what it will take to move us forward.”
Susan F. Wood, PhD, Director of the Jacobs Institute of Women’s Health, stated, “This Supplement provides depth and breadth to our current understanding of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in women, along with identification of the policies and programs that are needed to address it.”
In her Editor’s Note introducing the Supplement, Women’s Health Issues Editor-in-Chief Anne Rossier Markus, JD, PhD, MHS, wrote, “While much focus over the past decade has been on a U.S. and global response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic in areas of the world most affected by the disease, particularly Sub-Saharan African, one should not lose sight of the importance of continuing, refining, and reinvigorating our response on the domestic front. Despite great advances in treatment and technology, HIV/AIDS remains one of the leading causes of death and disability among children and women in the U.S., particularly minority women and girls from disadvantaged backgrounds. The thoughtful work provided by the Forum participants contributes directly to our understanding of how policy and programmatic resources must be leveraged to best tailor treatment and prevention interventions in ways that reflect sensitivity and understanding of gender, cultural, socioeconomic, and other differences among populations both here in the U.S. and abroad.”
About the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services: Established in July 1997, the School of Public Health and Health Services brought together three longstanding university programs in the schools of medicine, business, and education that we have since expanded substantially. Today, more than 1,100 students from nearly every U.S. state and more than 40 nations pursue undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral-level degrees in public health. Our student body is one of the most ethnically diverse among the nation's private schools of public health.