The Women’s Program supports HIV-positive women to heal, grow, maintain health, and achieve their goals.
The Women’s Program is committed to excellent care for women living with HIV that is comprehensive, team-based, and respectful of diverse cultural backgrounds and spiritual traditions. We partner with women living with HIV to heal, grow, maintain health, and achieve their goals. The Women’s Program uses a trauma-informed framework, recognizing that unaddressed and unhealed trauma impacts people’s current functioning. Our multi-disciplinary team members provide support to address life stressors that may interfere with taking life-saving medication and thriving.
‘Barrier Buster’ Care Navigation
Funded through Ryan White Part D, care navigation addresses the needs of women living with HIV that are not covered by other Ryan White funding streams. The women we serve often face multiple structural barriers to care created by social determinants of health, and are outside of individual participants’ control. Other barriers are related to women’s caregiving responsibilities for children and elders, or the stigma still associated with HIV. Our care navigator accompanies people through our fragmented health care system and offers support and skill-building to develop empowerment and independence and support community engagement.
Services include Preconception and pregnancy counseling for PLWHIV, ART adherence support, medical and psychosocial escorts, transportation support, emergency food assistance, advocacy within medical and other institutional systems (such as the courts) , crisis management for partner violence and relationship issues, short term counseling for grief and loss, building spiritual and community support to decrease stress and isolation.
In 2021 we started an SPNS initiative to improve retention in care and viral load suppression for Black women living with HIV in Philadelphia. Using three established evidence-informed interventions (WE CARE, Stay Connected, and Taking Care of Me) the project hopes to retain more Black women in care and help them remain virally suppressed. ‘G.E.M.S ‘ is a five-week small-group intervention with interactive sessions in which participants examine their risks, develop skills to reduce their risks, and receive feedback from others.
In normal times, self-identified female patients may participate in our weekly women’s support group and our monthly women’s wellness workshop. We partner with the Fox Chase Mammogram Van and host a PAP-A-THON to increase access for our most vulnerable participants who have not engaged in routine cancer screenings. As part of the effort to End the AIDS Epidemic and prevent new infections, we encourage partner testing and referral for PrEP services for those who are interested.