UN guidelines published for HIV counselling and testing in sexual and reproductive health services

Michael Carter
Published: 17 February 2004

Two respected international organisations have published guidelines for the integration of a key aspect of HIV prevention into reproductive health services.

International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) have developed a set of guidelines to enable programme planners and service managers to integrate HIV voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) with sexual and reproductive health services.

As well as providing a means of diagnosing HIV and providing HIV prevention information, VCT also offers a gateway to HIV care, an opportunity to prevent mother-to-baby transmission of HIV, TB screening and treatment, and psychosocial and legal support.

IPPF is the world's largest provider of sexual and reproductive health information, providing services to 24 million people around the world through 40,000 clinics. The UNFPA was the ideal partner with whom to develop the guidelines, as it is the largest global provider of reproductive health and population programmes.

The guidelines were developed after pilot projects in Cote d’Ivoire and India demonstrated that incorporating VCT with reproductive health services helped reduce the stigma associated with HIV, strengthened awareness of healthy sexual behaviour, increased utilisation of services and saved costs on infrastructure and labour.

Efforts to prevent the spread of HIV cannot succeed in isolation,” said Dr Steven Sinding of IPPA, adding, “only by addressing people’s sexual and reproductive health needs in a consultative and holistic manner can we work together to roll back the devastation caused by HIV.”

The guidelines provide practical information to both public and non-governmental organisations on integrating VCT within sexual and reproductive health services. A step-by-step approach is used, detailing how to plan, implement, monitor and evaluate integrated services.

Further information

The guidelines are available in English, French and Spanish and can be downloaded from the IPPF website and that of UNFPA.

Community Consensus Statement on Access to HIV Treatment and its Use for Prevention

Together, we can make it happen

We can end HIV soon if people have equal access to HIV drugs as treatment and as PrEP, and have free choice over whether to take them.

Launched today, the Community Consensus Statement is a basic set of principles aimed at making sure that happens.

The Community Consensus Statement is a joint initiative of AVAC, EATG, MSMGF, GNP+, HIV i-Base, the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, ITPC and NAM/aidsmap

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