Pakistan Plans Doorstep HIV Care for Female Patients

13 June 2017

In the deeply conservative Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, where women are not allowed outdoors unless accompanied by closely-related male family members, women face social and physical restrictions to accessing antiretroviral therapy (ART). The Ministry of Health is looking to provide at-home ART for women living with HIV to ensure they receive treatment despite their mobility restrictions. A study conducted in this area of 21 women living with HIV found that factors inhibiting their access to ART and other health services include the distance to the HIV clinic, the ages of their children and the lack of support from male family members. According to the lead author of the study, Abubakar Saeed, "changing society’s perceptions and attitudes to favour women’s healthcare, and autonomy to seek healthcare and make economic decisions, are important to improving women’s access to medical treatment."

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