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APHA Scientific Session and Event Listing

Towards a Rights Based Approach to Sexual and Reproductive Health of Women Living with HIV/AIDS

Paul Perchal, MA, HIV/STI Program, EngenderHealth, 440 Ninth Ave., 13th Floor, New York, NY 10001, 212-993-9831, pperchal@engenderhealth.org, Lynn Collins, MD, HIV/AIDS Branch, UNFPA, 220 East 42nd Street, New York, NY 10017, and Rasha Dabash, MA, Consultant, 2603 Centinela Ave., Apt. B, Santa Monica, CA 90405.

Issues: Despite international laws and treaties that protect the sexual and reproductive health (SRH) rights of women, policy and programmatic commitments to prevent unintended pregnancies among HIV positive women, and efforts to link family planning/ reproductive health and HIV/AIDS services, access to much needed SRH and HIV/AIDS services are denied to the vast majority of HIV positive women worldwide. Description: To respond to the SRH needs of HIV positive women EngenderHealth and UNFPA completed a qualitative research study in Brazil, Ethiopia, and the Ukraine in 2005. A total of 11 focus groups and 93 in-depth interviews were conducted with policy influentials, health workers, and HIV positive women and their partners to determine policy and programmatic gaps as well as identify barriers and facilitating factors to use of SRH services by HIV positive women and their partners. Lessons Learned: The data was analyzed using grounded theory and Atlas.ti software. Findings revealed a lack of political commitment; the absence of key operational guidelines addressing the SRH rights of HIV positive women; limited access to comprehensive SRH information and services; weak programmatic links and integration between SRH and HIV/AIDS services, particularly treatment and care; and inconsistent quality of counseling, frequently directive and misinformed. Recommendations: Study findings were used to develop a rights based framework and operational guidance for policy makers and program managers on SRH care of HIV positive women. Advocacy is needed to ensure more national governments are held accountable for protecting the SRH rights of HIV positive women.

Learning Objectives: At the end of this session the participants in this session will be able to

Keywords: International Reproductive Health, Human Rights

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Not Answered

Policy Perspectives on Human Rights and Attention to HIV/AIDS Issues

The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA