Friday, December 2, 2011


New Study Highlights Successful Health Interventions for Women Living with HIV
Existing Interventions Meet Sexual and Reproductive Health Needs
Washington, D.C. – What Works to Meet the Sexual and Reproductive Health Needs of Women Living with HIV, published in the latest issue of the Journal of the International AIDS Society,shows that much can be done now to operationalize evidence-based effective interventions to meet the sexual and reproductive health needs of women living with HIV.

The study draws on 35 evaluations of eight general interventions from 15 countries and multi-country reviews. While gaps in programming and research remain, the article shows that successful and promising interventions include:

  • Providing contraceptives and family planning counseling as part of HIV services;
  • Ensuring early postpartum visits providing family planning and HIV information and services;
  • Providing youth-friendly services;
  • Supporting information and skills building;
  • Supporting disclosure;
  • Providing cervical cancer screening;
  • Promoting condom use for dual protection against pregnancy and HIV; and
  • Providing anti-retrovirals, which can increase protective behaviors including condom use. 

It is also critical that both health providers and women receive the most up-to-date clinical information on the safety of family planning methods for HIV-positive women.  In January 2012, the World Health Organization will review the evidence to address the questions that have arisen over the years about the safety of hormonal contraceptives for women living with HIV.

As a sexually transmitted infection, HIV is inextricably linked with sexual and reproductive health. Women living with HIV, as well as HIV-negative women, benefit from interventions that give them control over their reproductive lives and reduce unintended pregnancy, HIV transmission and mortality and morbidity. Too often, discussions of sexual and reproductive health services for women living with HIV revolve around controlling fertility and ignore HIV-positive women’s needs for services that include attention to safe and healthy sexuality and a desire for children.

This article is drawn from What Works for Women & Girls: Evidence for HIV/AIDS Interventions (, a ground-breaking, comprehensive website documenting the evidence for effective HIV interventions for women and girls. 

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