BAME women account for 14% of the population in England[1] but make up 82% of women accessing HIV care in England[2]. Despite this glaring disparity, decision-makers, stakeholders, and the general public remain indifferent.

The consequence of this is that the needs and stories of these women are consistently left out of the HIV narrative. Along with social and economic inequalities tied to race, women face additional stigma and discrimination when seeking help for their sexual or reproductive health. BAME women, in particular, report having received inappropriate responses from healthcare professionals, which means they do not receive the services they need[3].

All groups affected by HIV need to be involved in shaping HIV policy, programmes, and research. Current processes, tools, treatment and education are not accessible or tailored to the needs of the largest group of people that need them. We will continue to work hard to raise the profile and visibility of women living with HIV, by championing their experiences, needs and stories.

[1] ONS (Census 2011)

[2] PHE (2017) National HIV Surveillance Data Tables

[3] Women’s Resource Centre (2013) "Women’s Equality in the UK: A Health Check"