Integrating Family Planning and HIV Services

Why does the integration of family planning and HIV services matter?

Integration improves health outcomes by offering comprehensive sexual and reproductive services to women and couples who are affected by HIV and at risk for unintended pregnancy. Delivering these services separately results in a missed opportunity that may weaken their effectiveness and quality and stall progress toward achieving key health outcomes and safeguarding human rights.

Key messages

  • Countries with the greatest burden of HIV also have high levels of unmet need for family planning. Both are driven by poverty, poor access to health care, gender inequality, and social marginalization of vulnerable populations.
  • Integrating family planning and HIV services can both prevent unintended pregnancies and reduce new HIV infections.
  • Evidence suggests that linking family planning with HIV services is feasible, beneficial, and cost-effective.

Definitions

Integration: The joining together of different types of health services in order to expand access to care and improve health outcomes.

Linkages: The bi-directional synergies between sexual and reproductive health and HIV in policy, programs, services, and advocacy. Service integration is just one component of this broad human rights-based approach. 

Overview

What are the benefits of integrating family planning and HIV services?

Meets client desires and demand. Integration allows for a one-stop, comprehensive health care service where clients can receive family planning services at the same place where they access HIV services.

Supports clients to achieve their fertility intentions. Integrating family planning services and HIV services 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.

Improves HIV prevention. For women living with HIV who do not wish to become pregnant, family planning is an evidence-based, cost-effective strategy for preventing unintended pregnancies and for reducing new pediatric HIV infections.

Protects human rights. By increasing access to care and enabling women and couples to achieve their fertility intentions, high-quality and comprehensive integration of these services protects human rights and fosters gender equality.

 

Topic last updated: May 08, 2017