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Strategic Considerations for Strengthening the Linkages Between Family Planning and HIV/AIDS Policies, Programs, and Services

2009 — Many governmental and nongovernmental public health agencies are pursuing and, in some cases, scaling up programs that integrate family planning (FP) and HIV services. In response to calls from public-health decision makers for guidance on FP/HIV integration, the World Health Organization, the U.S. Agency for International Development and FHI 360 developed this publication.

The partners drew from publications, the recommendations of more than 100 experts in FP and HIV/AIDS, and lessons learned from field experience. The document is designed to help program planners, implementers and managers — including government officials and other country-level stakeholders — make appropriate decisions about whether to pursue the integration of FP and HIV services. It also explains how to pursue integration in a strategic and systematic manner, in order to achieve maximum public health benefit.

The document places four questions at the center of FP/HIV integration policy:

  • What type of service integration, if any, is needed?
  • To what extent should services be integrated?
  • What steps are needed to establish and sustain high-quality integrated services?
  • What information is needed to measure program success and inform program and service delivery improvement, replication, or scale-up?

The document guides readers through the process of finding answers to these questions that are appropriate to their countries' circumstances. Where integration appears to be the right course of action, the document helps readers identify action steps to establish or enhance integrated FP/HIV services. It also provides links to resources that will support the implementation of those action steps, such as facility assessment tools, training curricula and job aids.