The 2013 WRI meeting focused on creating enduring engagement of women in HIV research and care across the research spectrum. Using a modified “treatment cascade” as a framework, the meeting highlighted the reasons for gaps in women’s HIV care and treatment and identified successful strategies to address them. WRI 2013 used the cascade as a framework to guide a discussion around the challenges and opportunities at each point across the HIV disease spectrum (testing, linkage to care, engagement in care, adherence). These discussions were held around expert presentations that brought together data on women along the cascade that had never before been assembled or presented. The group discussed barriers, shared successes, and brainstormed how to improve outcomes at each step in the cascade. The WRI concurred that the cascade is a very useful framework, though its linear and static nature do not always reflect the complexities and nuances of women’s lives.
As in past meetings, WRI 2013 brought together national HIV/AIDS thought leaders from diverse backgrounds, including clinical care, research, academia, advocacy, the government, the pharmaceutical industry and women living with HIV. This expert think tank operationalizes the transdisciplinary approach advocated by the WRI. By addressing issues that affect women through a variety of lenses, the WRI is able to expand understanding of effective treatment and prevention for women and girls living with or at risk for HIV.
WRI 2013 - Photo Courtesy of Stephanie Gross Photography