Women's Health

Women’s HIV Prevention

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around a quarter of people living with HIV in the United States are women.  Although the annual number of HIV diagnosis among women have declined in recent years, certain ethnicities are still disproportionately affected.

Georgia currently ranks fifth in the rate of HIV diagnoses among adults and adolescents in the US. The burden of HIV/AIDS among Georgian women is fueled by an array of factors related to socioeconomic status, cultural, stigma and access to quality care. The problem is exacerbated when factors such as gender inequality, poverty, intimate partner and domestic violence are included.

The Office of HIV/AIDS is currently developing a strategic plan to address some of the social and structural causes of HIV infection in women. The plan will identify our overarching objectives, define our goals, and outline specific action steps the Office of HIV/AIDS will take for improving HIV prevention services for women in Georgia.

Please bookmark this page and be on the lookout for more details about our upcoming strategic plan, women’s resources and events for women in Georgia. 

Explore this page to learn more about HIV among women, and how women can benefit from using PrEP- a pill to prevent HIV. 

The Women’s program is currently planning a PrEP summit designed specifically for women. The summits will be held in various cities around the state beginning December 2018. The goals of the summit are to; increase PrEP awareness and understanding of HIV among women, particularly for women of color; to empower women with knowledge to prevent HIV infection, and increase women’s confidence and skills to initiate PrEP conversations.

The half day meeting will bring together HIV/AIDS experts to cover topics to explain what is PrEP and nPEP, highlight why PrEP is important to women, how PrEP can fit into a sexual health plan, teach women how to assess their personal risk for HIV, and incorporate activities to initiate treatment conversations with medical providers, peers and sexual partners.

The first summit will be held in Atlanta, GA on December 8th, 2018 from 10 am- 3pm. To register for the event please visit https://www.sisterlove.org/events/ladies-who-prep-summit

For additional information on the summits please visit https://dph.georgia.gov/ladies-who-prep-summit 

To learn more about Women’s Health related resources, services, and upcoming events, please contact Rochelle Rich at 404-657-3110 or by email at Rochelle.Rich@dph.ga.gov.

Perinatal HIV Program (Pregnancy and HIV)

Georgia first adopted the Fetal Infant Mortality Rate (FIMR) model back in 2013 with the goal to improve Perinatal HIV prevention systems and identify missed opportunities of care after birth by using the FIMR case review and community action process. Based on the outcomes of FIMR, Georgia is now focusing on the socioeconomic issues that affect pregnant HIV positive women by developing a new program to eliminate perinatal transmission of HIV before birth.

The goal of reaching and sustaining elimination of perinatal transmission of HIV in Georgia is within reach. In the United States, New York, Illinois, and Florida have demonstrated successful reduction rates of mother to child transmission of HIV through their Perinatal HIV program that focus on perinatal case management, HIV testing, and provider education.

Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) and Office of HIV/AIDS have developed strategic priorities based on highlighted findings to support the HIV Perinatal program to reduce perinatal transmission of HIV. These strategic priorities will bridge gaps of missed opportunities of care among HIV positive pregnant women in Georgia and illuminate the program’s overarching goal to prevent perinatal HIV transmission before delivery. As of June 2018, the HIV Perinatal Program developed standard operating procedures to strengthen collaboration between Ryan White Part A, B, C, and D Case Managers; Ryan White Medical Providers; and referred OB-GYN offices throughout the state. 

Introducing the Georgia law §31-17-4.2

The Georgia law §31-17-4.2 mandates that all pregnant women be tested for Syphilis and HIV in the first and third trimesters of their pregnancy. The law was passed in 2015 and is based on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation for 3rd trimester testing in areas with high rates of syphilis and HIV.

It is extremely important to follow this law. With the practice of this law, Georgia can reach ZERO perinatal transmission cases of congenital syphilis and HIV.

Providers: please share with your medical staff regarding the testing law.

Emory Pediatric Infectious Disease Consultation Hotline
  • Please call 470-303-3666 to reach Emory Pediatric Infectious Disease for perinatal HIV-related medical consultation 24 hours/7 days a week.
Infectious Disease Pediatricians in Georgia 

If any additional information is needed about any of the providers on the list please contact:

Rhonda D. Harris, MPH, MS
HIV Perinatal Coordinator
Georgia Department of Public Health
Phone: 404-657-3123
Email: Rhonda.Harris1@dph.ga.gov

Related Files
Perinatal HIV Hotline PDF.pdf (317.56 KB)
Pregnancy, Childbirth, & Breastfeeding and HIV PDF.pdf (1004.42 KB)

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about Perinatal HIV, please contact Rhonda Harris, HIV Perinatal Coordinator, by email at Rhonda.Harris1@dph.ga.gov or call 404-657-3123.


Page Last Updated 11/2/2018