Integration of HIV and STI Prevention, Sexuality, and Dual Protection in Family Planning Counseling
Integration of programs for family planning (FP) and for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) involves the provision of FP and STI prevention (including HIV) and care services as part of a unified, coordinated strategy that addresses clients’ risks for unintended pregnancy and STI transmission (including HIV), as well as for pregnancy and HIV-related care and support. An integrated approach to counseling is often a key component of integrated programs and services, and this more comprehensive, client-centered approach to counseling has become critically important in light of the growing HIV and AIDS pandemic. Not only do FP clients need to understand their risks for HIV and to take these risks into account when making decisions about their sexual and reproductive health, but HIV-positive women have pregnancy prevention needs as well. Clients’ needs related to HIV and FP are often inextricably linked, and addressing sexuality is fundamental to both.
EngenderHealth developed Integration of HIV and STI Prevention, Sexuality, and Dual Protection in Family Planning Counseling: A Training Manual to help increase providers’ comfort in addressing sensitive issues related to sexuality, gender, and HIV and AIDS, and to clarify the values and overcome the biases necessary to do so. This two-volume set (manual and handouts) features participatory exercises on sexuality and gender; STI transmission (including HIV), prevention, and dual protection; integrated counseling skills; and other trainers’ resources. It is designed primarily for training of health care providers who offer counseling services, but the exercises can be used with a wide range of individuals who work in sexual and reproductive health, including all levels of FP staff; health outreach workers; HIV and STI educators, counselors, and frontline staff; and members of community groups.