Talk to a nurse

If you have questions about HIV or any other topic about your sexual health visit HealthLinkBC, or talk to a registered nurse at the BC Centre for Disease Control who can provide you with the information or the referrals you need.

Women and HIV/AIDS

Women are one of the vulnerable populations who are at increased risk of HIV infection. In the past 10 years, the rate of HIV transmission for women has more than doubled. As of 2008, it was estimated that women account for 17 per cent of people living with HIV and 26 per cent of all new HIV infections in Canada. From 1985-2009, women aged 30-39 were the largest group to contract HIV. Sex trade workers also have a higher prevalence of HIV.

Pregnant women infected with HIV are at risk of transmitting the virus to their unborn child. Heterosexual transmission of HIV accounts for 53.9 per cent among women who test positive for HIV, with injection drug use at 37.3 per cent.

HIV-positive women face many barriers to accessing health care services with social barriers at the forefront: 

  • Poverty;
  • Lack of education; 
  • Gender inequality; 
  • Marginalization;
  • Discrimination;
  • Stigma;
  • Harassment; and
  • Abuse.

Women who do not know their HIV status need to find out if they have been infected. Getting tested means you can start taking care of yourself and reduce the possibility of unconsciously spreading the infection to others.

To find out about where to get HIV testing and follow-up support services in Northern BC. is sponsored by the STOP HIV/AIDS pilot project which is funded by the Government of British Columbia supporting Northern Health, Vancouver Coastal Health, the Provincial Health Services Authority, Providence Health Care, and the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS. The STOP HIV/AIDS project aims to expand HIV testing, treatment, and support in British Columbia.
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