Sexual and reproductive health

Sexual & reproductive health (SRH) and HIV


Photo of twins
WHO/Katerini Storneg


The findings of the systematic review of SRH/HIV corroborate the many benefits gained from linking SRH and HIV policies, systems and services. Four of the eleven overall findings indicate that:

  • Despite diverse settings and clients, the majority of studies showed improvements in all outcomes measured, and only a few showed mixed results. Many studies reported an increase or improvement in:
    • access to and uptake of services, including HIV testing
    • health and behavioural outcomes
    • condom use
    • HIV and sexually transmitted infection (STI) knowledge
    • overall quality of service.

Key research questions

What linkages are currently being evaluated?

What are the outcomes of these linkages?

What types of linkages are most effective and in what context?

What are the current research gaps?

How should policies and programmes be strengthened?

  • Linking SRH and HIV was considered beneficial and feasible, especially in family planning clinics, HIV counselling and testing centres, and HIV clinics.
  • Of the few studies reporting cost outcomes, all were conducted after 2000. This positive trend may indicate an intent to scale-up linked services.
  • Notably, few or no studies addressed the following:
    • linked services targeting men and boys
    • gender-based violence (GBV) prevention
    • stigma and discrimination
    • comprehensive SRH services for PLHIV, including addressing unintended pregnancies and planning for safe, desired pregnancies.