Women's College Research Institute

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Women with HIV have worse clinical outcomes than men

February 2014

HIV and AIDSDespite the availability of antiretroviral therapy, HIV and AIDS continue to be public health concerns in Canada. In addition, more and more women are being infected, and until now scientists and health care professionals have not been clear on how men and women respond differently to therapy.

A new study led by Dr. Mona Loutfy, scientist at Women’s College Research Institute, is the first to shed light on this issue using Canada-wide data.

“Our study is the first multi-province investigation into gender differences in response to antiretroviral therapy,” says Loutfy. “Our cohort included people from Ontario, Quebec and BC, and we found that women on antiretroviral therapy were significantly less likely to suppress HIV and were at an increased risk for the virus to rebound. This finding was particularly driven by women with a history of injecting drugs.” 

Loutfy’s findings demonstrate the need for a nation-wide strategy on how to create effective gender-specific services and supports for patients. They were published in PLOS ONE.

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