When the epidemic began in the early 80’s women was not being discussed as a population who were at risk of acquiring HIV. It wasn’t until the early to mid-90 when I heard women becoming infected by this virus. From my point of view women have always been left out of this epidemic until they couldn’t ignore women (Black) dying at alarming rates. It saddens me even today women are still not valued and heard. I say that because supportive services are constantly being cut which are the gate ways for HIV positive women staying in care. For example services like childcare, transportation, emotional and social support groups, mental health (depression, bipolar and trauma) and substance abuse.
For women who do not fit the criteria of having a history of substance abuse, incarceration and multiple partners. More innovative gender specific programs need to be created that can reach this population who are at risk of acquiring HIV if they are not already living with the virus in fear and isolation. It is imperative for primary and secondary prevention programs to be tailored to reach lower to higher socioeconomic income level status. By tailoring messages by and for women from all walks of life women will not be left out of an AIDS Free Generation.