Health service highlights women living with HIV

SHOW your support for HIV positive women during the inaugural National Day of Women Living with HIV in Australia on Wednesday.

Women make up more than 2000 of the almost 30,000 people living with HIV in Australia.

Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service's (SCHHS) Sexual Health and HIV Services (Clinic 87) is commemorating the day with a display in Nambour General Hospital on Thursday, 10 March 2016.

Director of Sexual Health and HIV Services, Dr Kuong Taing, said an HIV diagnosis was a life changing event.

"Most people don't really know about HIV and don't realise that a woman who has HIV can have a healthy life; she can have a baby without passing on HIV; she can work and study; and have fulfilling emotional and sexual relationships," Dr Taing said.

"HIV affects everyone differently, but women often face additional challenges. Gender impacts the progression of HIV infection, comorbidities, how HIV is best treated, and a range of possible side effects.

"HIV positive women also experience a number of specific issues such as interactions with contraceptive and HIV medications, pregnancy, breastfeeding, menopause and cervical cancer."

Dr Taing said the health service's display in Nambour General Hospital on Thursday would show support for women living with HIV and also promote the services and resources available at the clinic.

"Come along, enjoy a free cupcake at morning tea, and check out the resources available," he said.

The SCHHS Sexual Health and HIV Services (Clinic 87) specialises in sexual health and HIV management services for the Sunshine Coast and surrounding areas.

Referrals are welcome from your health provider, but not necessary to visit the clinic.

To make an appointment call 5470 5244.

Clinic 87 is located on the first floor, 80-82 Blackall Terrace, Nambour. The service also operates outreach clinics in Caloundra, Noosa and Gympie.