Women and HIV Invisible No Longer: A national study of women’s experiences of HIV

Sophia Forum and Terence Higgins Trust, April 2018

Sophia Forum and Terence Higgins Trust one-year study aiming to explore the needs and experiences of women affected by HIV.  It finds:

  • Over half of women (58%) living with HIV in the UK have experienced violence in their lives
  • Almost half (45%) are living below the poverty line.
  • Almost one third (29%) have experienced violence or abuse while accessing healthcare services because of their HIV status.
  • Almost half (42%) have had mental health diagnoses since an HIV diagnosis.
  • One third (33%) feel they have an undiagnosed mental health issue.
  • Almost half (46%) would like support with managing their mental health but are unable to access it.
  • Over half (54%) said their HIV has affected their sex lives.
  • Two in five (42%) said their HIV impacted whether to have children, despite vertical transmission in the UK now being almost non-existent.
  • Almost half (42%) felt as though they were diagnosed late.
  • One third (29%) had no one to turn to for support straight after diagnosis.
  • Despite this, half of women living with HIV (49%) would describe their quality of life as ‘good’ or ‘very good’, while a further 38 per cent would call it ‘acceptable’.
  • In fact, one third (30%) of women living with HIV said their lives have improved since diagnosis, compared to under one quarter (23%) who said it has become worse.
  • One fifth (18%) said sexual health services were difficult to access, for reasons including distance between home and clinic, opening hours or lack of appointments. One in ten respondents said they would feel worried about judgemental staff when asking to take an HIV test.

Click here to view the report.


Young Mums Together: An evaluation of a peer support project to improve the wellbeing of young mothers and their families

Mental Health Foundation, March 2018

Report from the Mental Health Foundation on the feasibility and acceptability of peer support measured in terms of parental confidence, resilience, mental health and future prospects.  A key factor in the success of the project was the role of the facilitator and their ability to manage the interpersonal dynamics and consistent attendance and resource availability.

Click here to view this report.

While your back was turned: How mental health policymakers stopped paying attention to the specific needs of women and girls

The Mental Health Foundation, January 2018

This report from the Mental Health Foundation identifies that the mental health of young women and girls is deteriorating, and the gap between men and women has widened over recent years. In last 15 years have seen an unprecedented rise in reported mental health problems amongst young women and girls. We now see their needs reaching crisis level. This report will:

  • identify pressure points and social determinants of mental health and wellbeing in young women and girls, to support the development of tailored mental health guidance aimed at preventing mental health problems for those at highest risk
  • improve the understanding of how to prevent mental health problems in young women by decision makers.

Click here to view the full report.

Birth cohort trends in the global epidemiology of alcohol use and alcohol-related harms in men and women: systematic review and metaregression

BMJ Open, October 2016

Historically, alcohol use and related harms are more prevalent in men than in women. However, emerging evidence suggests the epidemiology of alcohol use is changing in younger cohorts. The current study aimed to systematically summarise published literature on birth cohort changes in male-to-female ratios in indicators of alcohol use and related harms.  The study finds that the gap between male and female use of alcohol is closing, particularly in young adults.

Click here to access the full text paper.

Dementia: through the eyes of women

Joseph Rowntree Foundation, November 2015

This Joseph Rowntree Foundation project aimed to inspire people to think differently about women and dementia by using stories and reflections from individual women to inform the debate in a unique, inspiring and insightful way.

Click here to learn more about the project and to download the report.

Having a smear test: What is it about?

Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, June 2015

Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust is the only UK charity dedicated to women and their families affected by cervical cancer and cervical abnormalities. They have produced a range of materials and resources around smear tests.  This includes an easy-read booklet which explains what a smear test is, the terminology and what will happen and is suitable for people with a learning disability.  The booklet and other resources can be downloaded for free.

Click here to access the booklet and resources.

The Smear Test Film – for women with mild or moderate learning disabilities

Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, June 2015

‘The Smear Test Film’ is a health education film resource for women eligible for cervical screening (smear tests) who have mild and moderate learning disabilities. It has been made by Public Health England in association with Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust. Professional guidance and support in the development of this resource was provided by the Better Health Team for Learning Disabilities at Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

The film has been designed and made by women who have learning disabilities. It aims to give women and their carers information about smear tests and their role in preventing cervical cancer. It is a resource that can help women make a decision about whether to attend their smear test invitation.

Click here to access the film.