Living Well: Women with HIV
Acknowledgements — About this Website

Breastfeeding and women living with HIV

Living Well: Women with HIV started as a resource adapted from a ground-breaking booklet Treat Yourself Right, first produced by AFAO in 2000 and revised and reprinted in 2001 and 2007. It was adapted, re-branded and re-launched as a Living Well: Women with HIV booklet and website, published in 2015.

Women make up about 10% of people living with HIV in Australia, and gender differences can have a significant impact on the progression of HIV infection, how it is best treated and the range of side effects experienced. Consequently, there is strong demand from HIV-positive women for specific resources for women to supplement the many resources which assume a male audience as their default.

In 2021, Living Well: Women with HIV undertook again, a major re-brand, revision and update of the website, this time by NAPWHA (National Association of People with HIV Australia). This initiative was also developed and produced under the NAPWHA HIV Health Literacy Framework (HLF) project — a framework approach which uses community-led participatory action research, led by HIV community advocates with networks of HIV peers, to inform health promotion. This project was made possible through the funding support of ViiV Healthcare Australia.

“This NAPWHA framework adopts an approach where community-led participatory action research underpins all of the health literacy initiatives produced,” explains Sarah Feagan, one of Community Advocates of the NAPWHA project.

This process included a survey of key networks of women living with HIV, international scoping of comparable resources, and a technical review of scientific and medical information. Positive women’s networks and service providers steered the structure of the revised resource and reviewed draft text.

“The meaningful involvement of women living with HIV/AIDS (MIWA) is a key feature of women-centred HIV care. It was imperative that the development of this community resource was led by HIV community advocates, and that it was then further informed by networks of HIV peers through a consultative process. This ensures that the development of any health promotion is culturally appropriate and tailored for women.”

The website overhaul was developed in tandem with a community resource called Breastfeeding for Women living with HIV, forming part of this website content, which was produced in shared collaboration between NAPWHA and Positive Women Victoria. The community resource was launched in September 2021.

Living Well: Women with HIV offers wide ranging information about living with HIV, disclosing HIV status, having sex, taking treatment, caring for your body, having children, keeping well and getting support. The National Network of Women living with HIV marked the theme of their 2022 National Day of Women Living with HIV with the theme ‘Living well’ to also celebrate the re-launch of this website.

NAPWHA and Positive Women Victoria encourage community members to use information contained in this website and the community resource Breastfeeding for women living with HIV In Australia to start a discussion with your doctor or health care team.

If you have comments and/or feedback about this website, please write to

— March 2022

Editorial team:

  • Heather Ellis Positive Women Victoria
  • Dr Kirsty Machon Positive Women Victoria
  • Adrian Ogier NAPWHA
  • Saysana Sirimanotham NAPWHA


Illustrations –

Graphic Design (Website) – Lealah Dow at Alternate Insight
Graphic Design (Community Resource) –

Web Development –
Project Coordination – Saysana Sirimanotham NAPWHA

With thanks to:

  • Sally Cameron HIV Justice Network
  • Brent Allan ICASO
  • Kate Bath ASHM
  • Sarah Feagan NAPWHA Community Advocate
  • NAPWHA National Network of Women Living with HIV
  • Lara Kruizinga NAPWHA Community Advocate
  • Melania Mugamu QPP
  • Abbie Opuama QPP
  • Daniel Reeders NAPWHA
  • Emma Sheldon Collins NAPWHA Community Advocate
  • Positive Women Victoria focus group participants
  • Ben Wilcock AFAO