Integrating HIV and Other Reproductive Health Services
With care and treatment for HIV and AIDS becoming more accessible, people living with HIV are regaining their health, living longer, and planning for their futures—which include making decisions about the possibility of starting or expanding a family. While society may presume that people living with HIV should not have sex or bear children, everyone has the right to decide freely about the number, spacing, and timing of their children. Access to family planning and comprehensive sexuality information are universal needs.
EngenderHealth was an early advocate of integrating HIV and other sexual and reproductive health services, such as family planning and maternal health. Integrating services is a successful strategy that leverages existing and scarce resources, without placing an undue burden on health care systems. For example, when a client visits a doctor for HIV services, it is an opportunity to address his or her other reproductive health and family planning needs and vice versa, either by providing these services under one roof or by strengthening referrals for care. Conversely, people who are getting family planning services should also learn about HIV and how to best protect themselves and their partners.
EngenderHealth has implemented projects that link sexual and reproductive health and HIV services in countries across the globe, including Brazil, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, India, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and many others. EngenderHealth helps people living with HIV advocate for access to quality treatment, care, and reproductive health services by partnering with national networks of people living with HIV. EngenderHealth calls on the international community, national governments, health facilities and providers, and local communities to empower people living with HIV and to expand access to quality sexual and reproductive health services for them.