Impact of Covid-19 on Women and Girls Living with HIV in Asia and The Pacific
The International Community of Women Living with HIV Asia Pacific (ICWAP) has been responding to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women living with HIV across the region. The network has worked virtually to connect, coordinate and communicate with members and country networks during these challenging times.
With very limited resources, ICWAP has responded to the urgent need for food and access to medicines; worked to provide accurate and useful information to members; and gathered information through a survey, rolled out in May 2020 across the region and supported by UNAIDS, about the experiences of women living with HIV to inform the response and recovery. As a result, ICWAP has developed a deep understanding of the situation and identified challenges facing women living with HIV.
This report focuses on South Asia and South-East Asia, where the pandemic has hit some countries hard. Evidence for increased risk or severity of COVID-19 in people living with HIV is unclear. However, people living with HIV who are not on treatment or not virally suppressed may be immunocompromised, making them vulnerable to opportunistic infections and more severe illnesses.