Family Counseling with Kaiser

Voluntary Counseling and HIV Screening for Women

Voluntary Counseling and HIV Screening for Women

Organizers Information for National Day of HIV Testing

June 2006

Voluntary Counseling and HIV Screening for Women
The impact of AIDS is growing rapidly among women, particularly among African Americans, and increasingly among Latinas. Among reported AIDS cases in 2003 women accounted for 26%. 1 Of these 63% were African American and 18% Latino. 1 Of all new HIV cases in 2003, women accounted for 30%. Most women are infected through unprotected vaginal sex (75%), followed by injection drug use (25%). 2

Factors to Consider When Promote and Provide Services for Prevention and Treatment of HIV

Sexism and Abuse Some women, even those who suspect their partners are at high risk of contracting HIV, fear discussing condom use with them. This for fear of emotional and physical abuse, or the withdrawal of providing financial assistance. 5 In addition, some fear that a positive result or just get tested, be interpreted as a sign of infidelity, which may cause problems in the relationship , abuse and violence. 4 Many women are infected by their male partners without realizing that they were at risk and therefore are tested until symptoms appear. Women's Health The lack of awareness, even among health professionals, that women are also at risk of contracting HIV, often means that many are tested and are diagnosed in advanced stages of infection. Some women find their status during pregnancy, usually without education and counseling. Pregnancy and Child Rearing Until recently, the desire to be parents of many HIV-positive women and their partners, represented a dilemma. However, thanks to antiretroviral treatment in the United States the risk of transmission during pregnancy has been almost eliminated. 3 Yet some women do not benefit from this achievement for not having adequate health insurance and lack of access to counseling and testing early. For many, particularly those of low income, the test done is not within reach or not a priority 4 as they take their time caring and maintaining the family home, besides having a paid job. Problems Practice Safe Sex Some studies have shown that many women face specific challenges of the female gender which put them at risk by having sex with men. For example, some feel they have no control over the use of condoms by their partners. Some do not use protection against HIV by using other contraceptive methods if they can control them. 4 In addition, lack of firmness, the desire for intimacy or trust could be factors that make women the practice of safer sex.

Tips for Designing Services and Successful Campaign Messages

  • For services and messages to be successful women should discuss the impact that oppression against women have different sexual roles assigned to each gender. The double standard in advertising affects the ability of every woman to practice safer sex.
  • Relevant social issues such as the stigma associated with HIV, immigration issues, homophobia and disclosure issues.
  • Some people do not take HIV test or not return for their results for fear that a positive result will damage their self-esteem and their family and social relationships. 4 Counselors should be trained to discuss this topic.
  • Include women living with HIV / AIDS in their screening and counseling campaigns, as visibility helps reduce stigma.
  • Consider implementing prevention campaigns in collaboration with doctors, gynecologists and family planning clinics providing in your community.
  • Provide counseling and HIV testing during the days and hours that facilitate access to working women and single mothers to these services. Provide child care services whenever possible.
  • Encourage get tested for HIV in places where women congregate, including schools, beauty salons, childcare centers, clubs, religious institutions, etc..
  • The programs of HIV testing and counseling should establish protocols for referring customers appropriately to their medical, mental and social, to create an integrated health system.
  • This is a culturally diverse population and prevention efforts must be tailored to get the message to each specific group, since there is no single formula to reach all groups of women.
  • Provide the necessary training to staff working.


  1. CDC HIV / AIDS Surveillance Report, Vol 15, December 2004.
  2. NIAID HIV / AIDS Statistics, July 2004.
  3. The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, The HIV / AIDS Epidemic in the United States, March 2004
  4. CDC, Best Practices in Prevention Services for Persons Living with HIV, December 2004.
  5. CDC Fact Sheet: HIV / AIDS Among Hispanics, November 2004.


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Any exp. with Kaiser for family counseling?

2004-08-15 14:42:36 by --Anon4aReason--

I've recently completed a divorce where I have full discretion over my daughter's visitation with her mother. I have serious trust issues with her mother and want to seek counseling to express these issues and work to trust her again. My benefits are with Kaiser in Santa Clara. Does anyone have experience with their family counseling services? Thanks.

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