Washington DC: Population Reference Bureau, 2009. 6 p.
Population Reference Bureau
The rationale for integrating family planning/reproductive health (FP/RH) and HIV services, especially in high HIV prevalence settings, has long been apparent: Sexually active individuals are at risk of both unintended pregnancies and HIV. The integration of these two sets of services share the key intended health outcomes of prevention of new HIV infections and prevention of unintended pregnancies. Years of experience in reproductive health settings demonstrate that individuals make greater use of services if they are easy to access. Visits to a health facility represent costs to clients and health systems, and making the most of these visits can have enormous benefits in the uptake of services and efficient program operations. One of the biggest challenges to integrating FP and HIV services is generating the political will to bring together programs that have been physically, financially, and managerially separate. When policymakers understand the savings and benefits of integrating FP and HIV services, they are more likely to support it. This policy brief highlights why service integration makes political and program sense, and describes the lessons learned from successful integration strategies in Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, and Uganda. This brief also urges policymakers and program managers to make integrated services routinely and widely available.
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