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APHA Scientific Session and Event Listing

Responding to the Sexual and Reproductive Health Needs of HIV Positive Women and Girls

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: HIV-positive women and girls are entitled, as any person, to enjoy the highest attainable standard of sexual and reproductive health. Yet more often than not, their sexual and reproductive health needs and rights fail to be recognized, respected or prioritized at every level of health care. Description: To respond to the SRH needs of HIV positive women and girls 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 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 multiple barriers to SRH care of HIV positive women and girls including a limited range of services; lack of integration between various components of SRH care and HIV/AIDS services; lack of informed choice, stigma and discrimination from health care providers and communities; lack of access to existing care; and lack of SRH rights. Recommendations: SRH care of HIV positive women should be prioritized by the international community and national governments as a major strategy for preventing unintended pregnancies in HIV positive women and girls and improving their overall health and well-being. Basic SRH interventions for HIV positive women and girls should be integrated with family planning, VCT, PMTCT, and treatment and care programmes around the world.

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

Keywords: Access and Services, PWA

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No

Sociocultural Dimensions of HIV Prevention and Care

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