Boehringer Ingelheim

International Experts and Women Living With HIV Discuss Urgent Needs of HIV-Positive Women at International AIDS Society (IAS) Congress

    Sydney, Australia (ots/PRNewswire) -

    - Panelists Available For Interviews

      - For Immediate Release: Webcast Will Be Available At:
         Http://Link.Viostream.Com/?A02deceb-Ecf4-4d9f-9118-F5f60faef629

    Women Living Positive, a roundtable discussion at the IAS congress in  Sydney, featured the perspectives of an international panel, including  experts in HIV research and medicine, an HIV-positive woman and a member of  Australia's National Association of People Living with HIV/AIDS (NAPWA), on  the progress that has been made, and what remains to be done to address the  needs of HIV-positive women.

    Francoise Barre-Sinoussi, Ph.D., director, Regulation of Retroviral Infections Unit, Virology Department, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France, where the HIV virus was discovered, revealed the increasing complexity of HIV infection trends in women worldwide:

@@start.t1@@      -- There are approximately 40 million people living with HIV worldwide
          and 17.7 million of these are women, but research, policy and
          prevention efforts are still behind in adjusting the focus to meet
          their needs.
      -- Biologically, women are more likely to get infected with HIV. When
          having unprotected heterosexual sex, women are as many as eight times
          more likely to become infected with HIV than men.
      -- Women are often the primary caregivers in a family and therefore may
          have different pressures and responsibilities than men. In some
          countries, HIV has significantly increased the burden of care for many
          women. Poverty and poor public services have also combined with HIV to
          turn the care burden for women into a crisis with far-reaching social,
          health and economic consequences.@@end@@

    Sharon Walmsley, M.Sc., M.D., professor of medicine, University of Toronto, senior scientist, Toronto Hospital Research Institute, and director, Clinical Research, Immunodeficiency Clinic, Toronto Hospital, Canada, emphasized the unique treatment needs of HIV-positive women:

@@start.t2@@      -- HIV medications can affect women differently than men. Women exhibit
          different characteristics from men for many of the complications of
          antiretroviral therapy.
      -- Because more than half of all pregnancies are unplanned, it is vital
          that HIV-positive women and their physicians incorporate family
          planning into their discussions when initiating therapy and evaluate
          options that will be appropriate if they become pregnant because some
          medications, such as Viramune(R) (nevirapine), are preferred for use
          for women of childbearing age.
      -- There is no such thing as a "one size fits all" medication. It is
          important to assess family history and the presence of other illnesses
          such as diabetes, liver, kidney or heart disease, and depression, as
          these can help guide the selection of a treatment regimen that will
          work best for the individual.@@end@@

    Sarah W., an HIV-positive woman, shared her personal story of living with the disease, as well as the keys to success that have helped her remain healthy:

@@start.t3@@      -- When I was first diagnosed I was told that HIV was a death sentence
          and I would not live past Christmas. That was 22 years ago. Since then
          I have had two healthy children.
      -- It is essential for women to become actively involved in their care,
          and to make sure that their physician treats them as a partner when
          making decisions affecting their health
      -- With the right treatment, it is possible to safely carry a child as a
          positive woman on antiretroviral therapy, but it requires an honest
          and open discussion between women and their physicians.@@end@@

    Katherine Leane, co-chair, Positive Women's Network, NAPWA Australia, discussed the need for more resources and support groups catering to the needs of HIV-positive women:

@@start.t4@@      -- AIDS Service Organizations are a crucial source of support for
          positive women. More so than men, HIV-positive women in Australia
          often find themselves simultaneously managing illness, work and
          parenting responsibilities, and need support systems to help them
          cope.
      -- Physicians, support groups and government can ensure that women at
          risk choose to come forward for testing, secure in the knowledge that
          they can get the support and care they need by providing better
          information, better support and counseling, and by supporting women's
          rights.@@end@@

    Roundtable organized by Boehringer Ingelheim.

ots Originaltext: Boehringer Ingelheim
Im Internet recherchierbar: http://www.presseportal.ch

Contact:
Catey Laube, on-site at IAS, +1-212-537-8247, or mobile,
+1-646-771-9723, claube@gcigroup.com, Lauren Graham, in New York,
USA, +1-212-537-8129, lgraham@gcigroup.com, both for Boehringer
Ingelheim



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