NORTH CHICAGO, Ill., Nov. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In advance of World AIDS Day on December 1, 2013, AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV) today announced the launch of See Us: Women Take a Stand on HIV, an international awareness campaign focused on helping to address the unique challenges faced by women living with HIV. The campaign is being launched in collaboration with an expert steering committee, which includes representation from women living with and affected by HIV, the medical community, the International Association of Providers in AIDS Care (IAPAC), and NAM/aidsmap, the HIV information charity.
Women are the fastest-growing group within the population of people living with HIV globally.1 They face many challenges as a consequence of the compounding effects of HIV status, its associated stigmas and the status of women. These challenges range from lack of access to care to the experience of violence and discrimination.2 In addition, at each stage of life, from childhood through childbearing years to post-menopause, women living with HIV are confronted with unique care considerations, which include maternal and emotional health issues, and an increased risk for multiple disease complications.3
"As we recognize World AIDS Day this year, it is important to acknowledge and work to address the unique needs of women living with HIV, who make up nearly half of the global population of people living with HIV," said Jose M. Zuniga, PhD, MPH, President of IAPAC. "Because women living with HIV can face challenges around accessing health care resources, and as HIV prevalence increases among women, there is an urgent need for initiatives to raise awareness and respond to the unique needs of women living with HIV throughout all phases of their lives."
In the coming months, AbbVie and the See Us: Women Take a Stand on HIV steering committee will develop and launch an informational tool as a resource for women living with HIV and will continue to contribute to building a broader sense of community by helping to gain support from national and international organizations focused on both women and HIV.
"As a global leader in HIV, AbbVie has a long-standing commitment to providing support to people living with HIV through global initiatives that seek to increase knowledge and understanding of the effects of HIV on people living with the disease," said Marisol Martinez-Tristani, MD, Medical Director, Global Medical Affairs, AbbVie. "It's important that we recognize specifically the plight of women living with HIV. Through this campaign we will engage in efforts to reach the HIV community to collectively improve both emotional support and long-term care for these women."
About See Us: Women Take a Stand on HIV
See Us: Women Take a Stand on HIV is an international awareness campaign created by AbbVie and the steering committee with representation from women living with and affected by HIV, the medical community, IAPAC, and NAM/aidsmap. The campaign seeks to assist in breaking down barriers, improving overall care and support, and ultimately helping encourage women living with HIV to create a cohesive community and advocate for their own needs. The campaign is made possible through funding provided by AbbVie and involves the participation of HIV community representatives from around the world.
Women: The New Face of HIV
Women are the fastest-growing group within the population of people living with HIV worldwide.1 Every minute, one woman is infected by HIV, mainly through sexual transmission.2 Globally, some 49 percent of all adults living with HIV are female.2 Infection rates among women aged 15-24 are twice as high as in young men.2 Women have different care considerations from men, including pregnancy, increased risk for cervical cancer, and premature menopause and osteoporosis.3 HIV is the leading cause of death in women of reproductive age around the world4, many of whom are diagnosed when they become pregnant.5
AbbVie is a global, research-based biopharmaceutical company formed in 2013 following separation from Abbott. The company's mission is to use its expertise, dedicated people and unique approach to innovation to develop and market advanced therapies that address some of the world's most complex and serious diseases. In 2013, AbbVie employs approximately 21,000 people worldwide and markets medicines in more than 170 countries. For further information on the company and its people, portfolio and commitments, please visit www.abbvie.com. Follow @abbvie on Twitter or view careers on our Facebook or LinkedIn page.
1 AIDS Epidemic Update December 2004. UNAIDS and WHO. Accessed September 26, 2013
2 Women Out Loud. UNAIDS. Accessed September 26, 2013
3 Guide for HIV/AIDS Clinical Care, Health Care of HIV Infected Women through the Life Cycle. US Department of Health and Human Services. Accessed September 26, 2013
4 Women and Health. WHO. Accessed September 26, 2013
5 Global HIV/AIDS Response Epidemic Update and Health Sector Progress Towards Universal Access. Accessed September 26, 2013