Sexual and reproductive health

WHO validates elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV and syphilis in Cuba

Cuba. Pregnant women in the waiting room of an antenatal clinic.

30 JUNE 2015 - Washington DC-Geneva - Cuba today became the first country in the world to receive validation from the World Health Organization that it has eliminated mother to child transmission of HIV and syphilis. “Eliminating transmission of a virus is one of the greatest public health achievements possible. This is a major victory in our long fight against HIV and sexually transmitted infections, and an important step towards having an AIDS-free generation” said Dr Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General.

Women face diverse forms of mistreatment and abuse during childbirth in health facilities worldwide

A mother with her newborn baby recovers in a postnatal ward, Bostwana.

30 JUNE 2015 - In many settings worldwide, women face mistreatment during childbirth. According to the authors of a new WHO-led systematic review, this can include physical, sexual and verbal abuse, a lack of supportive care, neglect, discrimination and a denial of autonomy.

Health-care providers may be the perpetrators of this mistreatment, however mistreatment may also result from a complex range of factors, including diverse systemic failures within health facilities and throughout health systems. The typology of how women are mistreated during childbirth presented in this systematic review is based on a synthesis of qualitative and quantitative evidence from 65 studies conducted in 34 countries.

Expanding access to contraception

Smiling parents on door step with their two children, South Africa.
WHO/Jim Daniels

Family planning allows people to attain their desired number of children and determine the spacing of pregnancies. It is achieved through use of contraceptive methods and the treatment of infertility. Promotion of family planning – and ensuring access to preferred contraceptive methods for women and couples – is essential to securing the well-being and autonomy of women, while supporting the health and development of communities. WHO’s Medical eligibility criteria for contraceptive use (MEC) provides family planning providers with guidance on helping those living with medical conditions to find a contraceptive method that works for them.


Reproductive Health Library (RHL)

RHL takes the best available evidence on sexual and reproductive health from Cochrane systematic reviews and presents it as practical actions for clinicians (and policy-makers) to improve health outcomes, especially in developing countries.

Partnerships and initiatives

African woman with her two children.

WHO and ICPD beyond 2014

Contributing to redefining the global agenda in sexual and reproductive health and an opportunity for the global community to address remaining challenges.

Search WHO guidelines on sexual and reproductive health