197503 Using an innovative online search methodology to estimate the accessibility of global information about family planning and HIV linkages

Monday, November 9, 2009

Sarah V. Harlan, MPH , Applied Research Department, Family Health International, Durham, NC
Elizabeth T. Robinson, MS , Applied Research Department, Family Health International, Durham, NC
Katherine Hilgenberg, BA , Applied Research Department, Family Health International, Durham, NC
William Barrows, MLS, MTID , Applied Research Department, Family Health International, Durham, NC
The integration of family planning (FP) services with HIV programs has many potential benefits. For one, it can reduce unmet need for contraception among women with HIV, help them prevent unintended pregnancy, and reduce new HIV infection rates. In actual practice, however, this strategy is often ignored. We hypothesized that one reason for this could be the dearth of information about FP/HIV linkages within the global information environment.

Presence of information on a given topic on the Internet can be taken as a proxy for the relative global accessibility of information. We performed a content analysis of the highest trafficked English-language Web sites that focus on HIV and/or reproductive health in order to develop a targeted communications intervention promoting FP/HIV linkages. To identify these top sites, we conducted a systematic search of more than 1,200 English-language Web sites with significant content on HIV/AIDS and/or reproductive health, then determined which sites received the most traffic and which were most linked to by other sites. Taking this subset, we analyzed the quantity and quality of their information on FP/HIV integration.

Nearly 50% of the top-trafficked sites provided no information on integrating FP and HIV programming. Twelve percent mentioned linkages but provided no significant information; 38% provided at least minimal coverage of the topic.

The lack of robust online information on this topic provides an important baseline from which to implement a tailored communications intervention, promoting greater access to evidence-based information on FP/HIV linkages in general and contraception for HIV prevention in particular.

Learning Objectives:
1. Demonstrate familiarity with the availability of information on family planning and HIV integration on the Internet. 2. Identify ways to use that knowledge to develop a communications intervention to address gaps in information accessibility.

Keywords: Communication, International Family Planning

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a Master's in Public Health from the University of North Carolina, and I currently work in the Applied Research Department at Family Health International.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.