Skip to main content

Jul 2020

Women-Centred HIV Care


About 16,880 women are living with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). All clinicians who interact with women living with HIV need to practice from a women-centred lens. Women-centred HIV care acknowledges each woman as a unique individual and works with them in a participatory model of decision making to provide holistic care.

This toolkit is intended to support clinicians and community-based organizations in providing women-centred care for all people who identify as women living with HIV in Canada. 

A complementary women's toolkit (offered both in English and French) provides women with the information they need to advocate for and make informed choices about their health care.


About the tool

Women-centred HIV care should be incorporated into every interaction between clinicians and women living with HIV. These toolkits are designed to support clinicians and women by providing them with guidance on the various components of women-centred HIV care. These include:

  • Person-centred care
  • Trauma- and violence -aware care
  • HIV care
  • Women’s health care
  • Mental and emotional health care
  • Peer support, leadership and capacity building

The Caring for Women Living with HIV: Women-Centred HIV Care and Women-Centred HIV Care: Information for Women toolkits were developed using the Centre for Effective Practice’s (CEP’s) integrated knowledge translation approach. This approach ensures that providers are engaged throughout the development processes through the application of user-centered design methodology. Clinical leadership of the toolkits was provided by Dr. Mona Loutfy and Mina Kazemi. Contributions were provided by a national team of healthcare providers, community workers, women living with HIV, researchers and other expert stakeholders. 

The development of these toolkits was funded by the Women and HIV Research Program at Women’s College Hospital with a grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Foundation Grant. 

Clinical leads

  • Mona Loutfy


    Dr. Mona Loutfy is an Infectious Diseases Specialist, Clinician Scientist and Full Professor at the University of Toronto and Women’s College Hospital in Toronto. Her main clinical practice is at the Maple Leaf Medical Clinic where she specializes in care of women, youth and couples with HIV, and reproductive health and HIV. She founded the Women and HIV Research Program at the Women’s College Research Institute in 2006 to carry out research with and for women living with HIV to combat stigma and health inequity and optimize healthcare delivery and outcomes. In 2014, she obtained her medical license in Saskatchewan and travels there every two and half months to care for women, couples and youth affected by HIV and HCV in northern Saskatchewan. 

Clinical working group

A clinical working group was established and provides significant input and oversight into the development of this toolkit. Members include:

  • Adriana Carvalhal, MD, MSc, PhD
  • Alice Welbourn, PhD, FRCOG (Hon)
  • Amber Gooden, BSc
  • Angela Kaida, PhD
  • Brenda Gagnier, PRA
  • Carmen Logie, MSW, PhD
  • Denise Jaworsky, MD
  • Heather Wong
  • Jay MacGillivray, Reg. Mid.
  • Jesleen Rana, MD, MPH
  • Manjulaa Narasimhan, PhD
  • Mark Yudin, MD, MSc, FRCSC
  • Mary Kestler, MD
  • Mary Ndung'u, BA
  • Melanie Lee, PRA
  • Mina Kazemi, MSc
  • Mona Loutfy, MD, FRCPC, MPH
  • Muluba Habanyama, PRA
  • Nadia O’Brien, MPH, PhD
  • Neora Pick, MD, FRCPC
  • Rebecca Gormley, MPH
  • Rebeccah Parry, PRA
  • Shaz Islam, RA
  • Stephanie Smith, PRA
  • Valerie Nicholson, PIRA
  • Wangari Tharao, MA

Other contributors

Contributions were provided by a national team of healthcare providers, community workers, women living with HIV, researchers and other expert stakeholders.

Expert Reviewers

This site uses cookies to improve visitor experience and functioning. By scrolling this page, clicking a link or continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies. Please consult your browser settings (and browser plugins) to configure whether and how you receive cookies.