Sharing knowhow and joining forces towards Health for All

Linking HIV and reproductive and sexual health and rights

Photo: UNFPA
Photo: UNFPA

Bern, Switzerland, 7 April 2011. "A young girl might want to prevent a pregnancy and protect herself from HIV. A woman living with HIV might be pregnant and at risk of dying during childbirth, she may have HIV and can't get contraception, and her child may die of HIV or malaria. Where does she get the necessary information on contraception and the prevention of sexually-transmitted infection, counselling, testing and treatment?

The interactions between sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and HIV are widely recognized by international organisations such as UNAIDS, IPPF, WHO and SDC. Sexual and reproductive ill-health and HIV share root causes, including poverty, gender inequality, gender-based violence and the social marginalization of the most vulnerable populations.

At the local level, many NGOs already work in an integrated manner. Different models are used to support the integration of HIV and SRHR services and show benefits for health. However, in many countries, sexual and reproductive health and HIV programs still run parallel. 

What are the barriers to integration? Why were HIV departments and units not linked in any way to the corresponding sexual and reproductive units? Is it a question of implementation? How can comprehensive services be made youth friendly and meet the needs of youth? 

We succeeded in inviting some very exiting and competent speakers from the South and North who will share with us their experience, knowledge and reflections. Based on the experience of the partner organisations of aidsfocus.ch, and following up on discussions held at a global level, we will discuss challenges and strategies of linking HIV and reproductive health and rights in policy and practice."

The conference documentation is available now.

aidsfocus conference 2011  The platform aidsfocus.ch is a project of the Network Medicus Mundi Switzerland.

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