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J Adolesc Health. 2017 Feb;60(2S2):S10-S14. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2016.11.006.

Searching for the Second R in Sexual and Reproductive Health and … Rights.

Author information

ATHENA Network, London, United Kingdom. Electronic address:
ATHENA Network, Seattle, Washington.
Global Youth Coalition on HIV and AIDS, a Program of the Public Health Institute, New York, New York.
STOP AIDS NOW!, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Watipa Community Interest Company, London, United Kingdom.
International HIV/AIDS Alliance, Brighton, United Kingdom.
ATHENA Network, London, United Kingdom.


Sexual and reproductive health and rights have gained prominence in the HIV response. The role of sexual and reproductive health in underpinning a successful approach to HIV prevention, treatment, care, and services has increasingly been recognized. However, the "second R," referring to sexual and reproductive rights, is often neglected. This leads to policies and programs which both fail to uphold and fulfill these rights and which fail to meet the needs of those most affected by HIV by neglecting to take account of the human right-based barriers and challenges they face. In this commentary, the authors draw on the approach and practical experiences of the Link Up program, and the findings of a global consultation led for and by young people living with and most affected by HIV, to present a five-point framework to improve programming and health outomces by better protecting, respecting, and fulfilling the sexual health and reproductive rights of young people living with and most vulnerable to HIV.


Adolescents; Gender-based violence; HIV; Key populations; Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR); Sustainable development goals (SDGs); Young people

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