Sexual and reproductive health

Women at the centre: WHO issues new guidance on the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women living with HIV

WHO/SEARO/Gary Hampton

21 February 2017: A woman-centred approach to healthcare is one that consciously adopts the perspectives of women, their families and communities. This means that health services see women as active participants in, as well as beneficiaries of, trusted health systems that respond to women’s needs, rights and preferences in humane and holistic ways. Such an approach to healthcare is crucial when working to safeguard the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women living with HIV. In 2015, there were an estimated 17.8 million women aged 15 and older living with HIV in 2015, constituting 51 percent of all adults living with HIV.

Working together to address HIV prevention in eastern and southern Africa

Uganda: A female educator demonstrates the use of condoms to young women sitting in a park.
Jonathan Torgovnik

A three-day consultation, co-convened by WHO, HRP, UNAIDS, USAID and PEPFAR and hosted by the Ministry of Health took place in Windhoek, Namibia on 1-3 February 2017 to consider how to move forward on the issue of HIV prevention for adolescent girls and young women in the context of and sexual and reproductive health and rights. The event was attended by over 180 participants representing ministries of health, civil societies, donors and UN agencies from 12 countries from eastern and southern Africa. The First Lady of Namibia, Monica Geingos, as well as the Minister of Health and Social services, Dr Bernard Haufiku, were strong leaders of the meeting and played an influential role on the discussions.

Sexual and reproductive health and human rights of women living with HIV. JIAS Special issue

Man, woman and child
UNAIDS/T. Znidarcic

1 DEC 2015. WORLD AIDS DAY ¦ Women living with HIV can achieve safe and satisfying sexual lives, but there is still much to do for this to be a reality for the most vulnerable who face repeated violations of their rights. Antiretroviral treatment, together with advances in overcoming stigma and discrimination, and the development of HIV prevention interventions have all given hope and a chance at a healthy life for many around the world. For those who remain the most vulnerable, however, there is not nearly enough progress. Many women and girls living with HIV remain vulnerable due to a host of biological, social, cultural and economic reasons, including women’s continued social and economic inequality.

Linkages between sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and HIV

Image of an African health-care provider in the field
WHO/Thierry Geenen

"Men build too many walls and not enough bridges", Isaac Newton.

Linkages, or the policy, programmes, services and advocacy synergies between SRH and HIV are approaches that have the potential to increase universal access to both sexual and reproductive health as well as HIV prevention and care.

SRH/HIV: Access to and coverage of services

Street Scene in Kiev, Ukraine. Gypsy population.
UNAIDS/L. Taylor

By minimizing missed opportunities we can increase access and coverage of services for more people including vulnerable populations, and ensure services for people living with HIV that meet their needs and respect their rights.

Microbicide research

    UNAIDS Collaborating Center

Country summaries

These summaries highlight the experiences, results and actions from the implementation of the Rapid Assessment Tool for Sexual and Reproductive Health and HIV Linkages. The tool – developed by IPPF, UNFPA, WHO, UNAIDS, GNP+, ICW and Young Positives in 2009 – supports national assessments of the bi-directional linkages between sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and HIV at the policy, systems and services levels.

Policy and programmatic issues

Leadership and action in supporting policy, systems and service levels that demonstrate improved outcomes.

Multipurpose Prevention Technologies (MPTs)

Providing women and young girls with more choices for their sexual and reproductive health needs


  • Full list
    Clinical and research guidance, studies, policy and programmatic issues.
  • Linkages resource pack
    Generic products of the Interagency Working Group on SRH and HIV Linkages designed to suit a variety of audiences and purposes including policy makers, advocates and programme managers.
  • WHO bulletin
    Special theme of strengthening the linkages between sexual and reproductive health and HIV

Video: Multipurpose Prevention Technologies (MPTs)

MPTs for a Better World from CAMI Health on Vimeo.