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Browse POLICY Project (1995-2006) Materials

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  • Contraceptive security (CS) is achieved when people are assured of access to an uninterrupted supply and adequate mix of contraceptive commodities and enjoy open access to information and services related to those commodities. As developing countries strive to achieve contraceptive security amid growing demand for contraceptives, they are increasingly cognizant of the impact of directing resources to vulnerable groups and their ability to ensure equitable access for all, including HIV-positive women. Providing for the family planning needs of HIV-positive women is a vital component in the fight against HIV/AIDS and the achievement of international development goals. However, CS programs often do not successfully accommodate the special needs of HIV-positive women. Challenges to reaching this marginalized group include a limited choice of accessible contraceptive methods, lack of informed counseling regarding appropriate contraceptive options, stigma and discrimination that hinder their ability to access information and healthcare services, and operational barriers that thwart providers effective delivery of medical care. Achieving access to family planning information, services, and commodities for this group can have a significant impact on the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and interventions that successfully overcome the challenges can help achieve this goal. The World Health Organization (WHO) identifies four stages of perinatal HIV prevention at which women need support: (1) prevention of HIV infection in women, especially young women of reproductive age; (2)prevention of unintended pregnancy in HIV-positive women; (3) prevention of mother-tochild transmission; and (4) support for the HIV-positive mother and family (WHO, 2003). A comprehensive CS plan is consistent with supporting women at all four stages and can directly affect success at stages two and three by reducing the barriers faced by HIV-positive women in accessing family planning (FP) goods, services, and information. This brief describes the importance of ensuring contraceptive security for HIV-positivewomen. It also reviews common barriers faced by HIV-positive women as they attempt to access FP services and illustrates interventions that can increase the likelihood of overcoming these barriers.
    PF Issues_English.pdf