University of California, San Francisco | About UCSF | Search UCSF | UCSF Medical Center
Open
X

Sisterhood

photo_sisterhoodWHP is dedicated to helping women overcome the stigma and isolation that often accompanies an HIV diagnosis.

Many women arrive in care at WHP completely isolated. Because of the stigma associated with HIV, many women have felt unable or unsafe to disclose their status to their friends, family, or even their partners. This often creates a situation where HIV positive women do not have real friends with whom they can confide their challenges with HIV or with other issues such as trauma and from whom they can receive crucial support.

WHP’s services are designed to help women overcome stigma and connect with other HIV positive women when they are ready and interested in doing so. At our clinic, we serve breakfast and this provides an opportunity for many HIV positive women to develop new friends and new connections. WHP also hosts support groups for HIV positive women.

Additionally, WHP has interventions designed to help women publicly disclose their HIV status in a safe and voluntary way. This intervention is done in collaboration with Rhodessa Jones and the Medea Project. Our study of this intervention shows that “sisterhood” with other HIV positive women was a key benefit of the program and a crucial first step towards developing the support and confidence to disclose their HIV status and develop deeper relationships with family and friends.