Linking sexual and reproductive health and HIV/AIDS
An annotated inventory
Linking HIV/AIDS and sexual and reproductive health (SRH) programmes has the potential to significantly curtail the AIDS epidemic and support has recently been galvanized to identify and further exploit these linkages. There is an inherent association between HIV/AIDS and SRH since well over 75% of HIV infections are acquired through sexual transmission, or through transmission during pregnancy, labour and delivery, or during breastfeeding. The presence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) other than HIV increases the risk of HIV transmission. Aside from these obvious direct associations, many of the same root causes affecting sexual and reproductive health status also affect HIV/AIDS. Gender inequality, poverty, stigma and discrimination and marginalization of vulnerable groups affect and are affected by HIV/AIDS and sexual and reproductive health status.
On 7 June 2004, UNFPA and UNAIDS in collaboration with Family Care International, convened a high level global consultation of ministers, parliamentarians, ambassadors, leaders of United Nations and other multilateral agencies, donor organization officials, community and nongovernmental organization leaders, young people, and people living with HIV. The New York Call to Commitment on Linking HIV/AIDS and Sexual and Reproductive Health that emanated from this consultation challenges both the SRH and HIV/AIDS communities to examine how they can better integrate their activities. The call to commitment followed a consultation convened by WHO and UNFPA to examine the linkages between family planning and prevention of mother-to-child transmission that culminated in The Glion Call to Action on Family Planning and HIV/AIDS in Women and Children. It reflects consensus on the need for better linkages within the context of the objectives and actions agreed at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo in 1994.
This annotated inventory contributes to strengthening linkages between HIV/AIDS and SRH programmes by providing access to relevant programming tools for fostering such linkages, and pointing out gap areas where tools need to be developed. It identifies and reviews tools that link HIV/AIDS with SRH programmes1 and conversely, that link SRH with HIV/AIDS programmes. The inventory is complementary to Sexual and reproductive health and HIV/AIDS: a framework for priority linkages developed by WHO, UNFPA, UNAIDS, and IPPF. The inventory is not intended to be exhaustive, and should be viewed as a ‘living document’ that will be updated as new tools become available.