04 Sep 2018

Ungagging abortion: safe abortion in the context of HIV

From this report by International HIV/AIDS Alliance:

For women living with and most affected by HIV, sexual and reproductive health and rights are crucial. This includes the right of women and girls in all their diversity to make decisions concerning their sexual activity and reproduction, free from discrimination, coercion, and violence. HIV among women is commonly associated with sex, pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding. Some sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can also increase HIV risk. HIV and sexual and reproductive ill health share root causes, including structural drivers such as poverty, harmful cultural norms and gender inequality, social marginalisation and criminalisation of key populations, and lack of access to information and services.

Safe abortion , freedom from coerced abortion, and PAC are key aspects of SRHR for all women, especially for women living with and affected by HIV.

Like HIV, abortion is highly politicised and stigmatised. People feel strongly about it and reliable sources of information may be difficult to find. Community-based organisations addressing HIV may work with  omen who have a broad range of challenges including the need for accessible HIV or pregnancy prevention services, among others. However, while in many places communities are experienced in supporting people living with HIV, in general communities are less experienced in supporting women with their SRHR needs, and abortion in particular.

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