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Reprod Health Matters. 2005 May;13(25):136-46.

Focus on women: linking HIV care and treatment with reproductive health services in the MTCT-Plus Initiative.

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Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health, New York, NY, USA.


Despite important advances in expanding access to antiretroviral therapy in the countries most heavily affected by HIV/AIDS, there has been little consideration of the connections between HIV prevention, care and treatment programmes and reproductive health services. In this paper, we explore the integration of reproductive health services into HIV care and treatment programmes. We review the design and progress of the MTCT-Plus Initiative, which provides HIV care and treatment services to HIV positive women as well as their HIV positive children and partners. By emphasising the long-term follow-up of families and the provision of comprehensive care across the spectrum of HIV disease, MTCT-Plus highlights the potential synergies in linking reproductive health services to HIV care and treatment programmes. While HIV care and treatment programmes in resource-limited settings may not be able to integrate all reproductive health services into a single service delivery model, there is a clear need to include basic reproductive health services, such as access to appropriate contraception and counselling and management of unplanned pregnancies. The integration of these services would be facilitated by greater insight into the reproductive choices of HIV positive women and men, and into how health care providers influence access to reproductive health services of people with HIV and AIDS.

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