Historically, FP services and HIV programs have had separate funding streams and independent operational structures. Over the last decade, however, the global health community has endorsed stronger linkages between FP and HIV policies, programs, and services. These linkages are essential to meet the needs of women and their families and to achieve international development goals, such as an AIDS-free generation and greater access to reproductive health services.
Integrating voluntary FP services into HIV programs can increase access to contraception among clients of HIV services who wish to delay, space, or limit their pregnancies. Integration can also help to ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy and delivery for those who wish to have a child. For women living with HIV who do not wish to become pregnant, FP is an evidence-based, cost-effective strategy for preventing unintended pregnancies and for reducing new pediatric HIV infections. FP services can be integrated at most types of service delivery points along the HIV continuum of care, including HIV counseling and testing, prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT), and care and treatment services. Different levels of integration might be appropriate for different health care facilities or programs, depending on the local context and available resources, capacity, and facility set-up.
A favorable policy environment for FP/HIV integration has emerged globally and at the national level in several countries. Moreover, the evidence base for the effective integration of services is growing, and a broad array of guidance documents and tools are available to support integrated FP/HIV programming.
The publications available in this section of this Toolkit offer information in support of FP/HIV integration and outline why it is an important and often life-saving approach. For additional materials specifically designed to help in the promotion of integration, please also visit the Advocacy section of this Toolkit.