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AIDS Treatment News
Women's AIDS Service Program Begins
Denny Smith
September 23, 1988
AIDS TREATMENT NEWS No. 065 - September 23, 1988

The San Francisco AIDS Foundation has received special funding to serve women with AIDS and ARC, and their partners and children. This program, possibly the first of its kind in the nation, is already serving 80 women.

Women with AIDS have faced unique, severe problems. For example, only five of the 80 clients in this program are now on AZT, and only five are on aerosol pentamidine. Only two of the 80 are now using an experimental treatment, such as dextran sulfate or AL 721.

Seventy of the 80 are low income; food and rent bills must compete with treatment costs. Many women are uninsured or underinsured. Women are often excluded from trials of experimental drugs. Long waits in public clinics are often impractical for women with young children and no childcare. Women with AIDS seldom have the community support and institutions available to gay men. Because of these and other obstacles, women with HIV-related symptoms are often late to receive treatment.

The new program runs ongoing discussion groups for sharing treatment and other resource information. With the help of Catholic Social Services and the Shanti Project, it hopes to open two houses for women with AIDS or ARC.

For more information about this program, call Catherine Maier, its director, at the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, 415/864-5855.