Marking World AIDS Day
As we navigate into the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic Bolton Clarke teams are marking the ongoing impact of another virus – HIV – this World AIDS Day (December 1).
Bolton Clarke Homeless Persons Program Nurse Practitioner Dr Liz Crock has been at the frontline of work to support people with HIV since those early days and continues to advocate as part of Bolton Clarke’s specialist HIV team. The Melbourne-based team supports around 200 people living with HIV.
This year's WAD theme is "Where to next?"
For Dr Crock one answer is greater support for women with HIV.
“I first encountered HIV in 1985 while working in Italy in an immunology lab, undertaking testing of HTLB3 as it was known at the time. It later became known as HIV,” she said.
Back in Australia she joined the response against the illness at two major Melbourne hospitals before joining Bolton Clarke.
She said while things have come a long way in the past 40 years, more needs to be done for women with HIV.
“Women are underrepresented in HIV research, despite comprising half of those living with HIV in the world,” Dr Crock said.
“It took until 1993 for some HIV related conditions effecting women to be classified as AIDS defining illness.
“This meant that some women were denied subsided medication putting them at higher risk of mental illness, homelessness and substance abuse.
“The world of HIV has changed for the better, but the needs for a human rights approach and advocacy for women is just as strong.”
Find out more about World AIDS Day here.