HIV and SRHR are directly linked. Sexual and reproductive ill-health and HIV thrive where there is entrenched poverty, harmful social norms, gender inequality and marginalization of the most vulnerable populations. HIV remains the most fatal sexually transmitted infection, and the leading cause of death among women of reproductive age (UNAIDS, 2019).
The recent Guttmacher-Lancet Commission report ‘Accelerate progress – sexual and reproductive health and rights for all’ presents a new, comprehensive definition of SRHR – including HIV prevention, treatment and care in its essential intervention package and pays specific attention to vulnerable groups. This comprehensive SRHR is central to achieving all Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and to ensuring the universal health coverage (UHC) agenda leaves no-one behind.
This Community of Practise promotes joint work in these two sectors at various levels, including policy, advocacy, programming and operations. Despite high-level political commitment to intensify linkages, challenges remain for ensuring that people receive comprehensive, high-quality services because policies are not being translated into practice. Linking HIV and SRHR must go beyond integrating services and programmes to include explicit attention to rights and the structural issues that make people vulnerable to HIV and threaten their sexual and reproductive well-being. Linking HIV and SRHR can deliver a more robust and cost effective response, and should be an integral part of future global strategies.
In 2020, the HIV & SRHR Integration CoP collected impressions from Share-Net Netherlands’ members who attended the AIDS2020 conference. Have a look at the AIDS2020 debrief here.
On November 25th, the CoP hosted their first virtual webinar on the “Digitalisation of SRHR/HIV Interventions for Young People: Challenges, Barriers & Successes”, facilitated by Trainers4Life from Nepal and Pakistan and speakers from UNAIDS, Teenergizers and Love Matters Mexico. You can re-watch the session via this link. and read a short webinar report here.
Furthermore, the HIV and Reproductive Health and Research (RHR) Departments of the World Health Organisation (WHO) have recently undertaken a study which looks into contraceptive use and values and preferences among female sex workers and women who inject drugs. The WHO recently developed guidelines for contraceptive options for women who are at risk of HIV. On December 10th 2020, the HIV&SRHR Integration CoP organised an expert meeting called “Linking HIV and SRHR for key populations” sharing new insights from the WHO SRHR research, and discussing the relevance for policy and practice. See the webinar report and re-visit recordings here.
At the core of this CoP is and will remain their awareness raising for the importance of keeping HIV integrated in SRHR and how to better implement this.. This theme will be addressed in a two-pager and an online meeting,
As a second key focus in 2021, the CoP will unpack the impact of COVID-19 (e.g. COVID & mental health; COVID & lessons learnt) and how that affects populations’ vulnerability for HIV, and how to take this into account for interventions and activities. The CoP will invite to an online meeting on this topic, drawing from various knowledge products available and experiences by member and partner organisations on this topic, spotlighting especially the implications of moving online when working (with KP’s) on HIV/SRHR and how to successfully integrate online and offline interventions.
CoP members can access their online working space on Mighty networks via this link (Share-Net Netherlands members only).
Share-Net is a membership network made up of a unique and powerful combination of NGOs and private sector parties, researchers and students, policy makers and practitioners, media outlets and advocates. Through the formation of this Community of Practice, we contribute to, discuss, share, use, and have access to evidence and knowledge-products that are most relevant to the work towards improved SRHR policies and practices integrating HIV .
We actively want to expand our network and are inviting Share-Net Netherlands members to become part of the HIV & SRHR Integration CoP. If you are interested to get in touch with the group, feel free to contact us directly anytime.
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