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Mar 2020

Women-Centred HIV Care


About 14,500 women in Canada 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 complimentary women's toolkit provides women with the information they need to advocate for and make informed choices about their health care.



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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 Lead

  • Dr. 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. 

Target End User Feedback and Expert Opinion

Contributions were provided by a number of other key stakeholders. We would like to thank all of them for their input!

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