Women and HIV/AIDS Initiative


The Women and HIV/AIDS Initiative (WHAI) works to address women’s health in the context of HIV and AIDS.

  • Training for your staff about women’s unique situation and the multiple oppressions which make them vulnerable to HIV/AIDS
  • Pamphlets, information resources and safe-sex materials to help educate female clients about preventing HIV infection
  • Support for all women living with HIV/AIDS

Do the women of Durham Region know they are at risk?

Fact: The design of a woman’s sexual organs makes her especially vulnerable to HIV transmission.

Fact: Many people, including doctors, think women are not at risk.

Fact: Stigma about sexuality and HIV can also prevent women from learning how to protect themselves.

Fact: Sometimes the intersecting oppressions that women are dealing with can simply knock their own health priorities right off the list. Here are some examples of issues women may be facing:

  • Discrimination and/or racism
  • Marginalization and/or homelessness
  • Poverty, food and housing insecurity
  • Lack of social support networks
  • Physical or sexual violence, abuse or coercion
  • Gender inequality in relationships
  • Addictions
  • Involvement in sex work
  • New Canadians: navigating an unfamiliar community
  • Cultural oppressions
  • Language and other health-care barriers

In Ontario, women who are most vulnerable are African, Caribbean and Black women, injection drug users, and all women who engage in high-risk sexual activity with men from either of these groups or with men who also have sex with men.

Finding solutions: your agency’s vital role

Women in Durham Region are a highly diverse group. Developing accessible HIV-prevention programming must reflect this. The need for community-tailored approaches which address her gender/age/culture can only be met by working with service agencies which meet her at her point of need.

Peer educators, community leaders, and appropriate delivery channels offer ways to spread the message about protecting women`s health from HIV infection.

Let’s work together to reduce the HIV infection rate and support women who have isolated themselves in response to an HIV diagnosis.

I am imperfect and free