|Undermines Coordinated Services|
Despite recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO), U.S.-funded operational research, and even the Administration’s own recognition of the benefits, the PEPFAR reauthorization failed to recognize the importance of strengthening and linking health services that provide multiple benefits— including reproductive health services and HIV prevention.
Infection rates are growing most rapidly among women and older adolescents. Family planning and other reproductive health services are often the “first responders” on HIV prevention for these groups, who are more likely to use these health services than any other segment of the population.
Failure to promote these linkages in the new PEPFAR bill is misguided.HIV is a reproductive and sexual health issue, and sexual transmission is the single greatest cause of new infections. By failing to require strong linkages among these global heath interventions, this legislation fails to realize the countless opportunities to improve the health and save the lives of countless women, their children, and their families as the largest U.S. investment ever in a single disease is spent on what is most politically viable instead of the real-life needs of these women and their families.
For more information, read IWHC President Adrienne Germain’s blog on this issue.