Population Action International (PAI) has launched a new, two-year effort to integrate reproductive health services with HIV/AIDS services in five sub-Saharan African countries with the help of a $2.9 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The Integration Partnership (TIP) will be launching in Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania and Zambia. Ethiopia is the one country outside of the focus of PAI’s 10-country Mobilizing RH/HIV Integration Initiative, which has helped leverage millions of dollars of Global Fund grants to support integrated programs and services, according to a PAI press statement.
Many argue that HIV is a sexual and reproductive health issue, because sexual transmission causes the most new infections, and because women living with HIV have urgent reproductive health needs, including the need to avoid unwanted pregnancy or prevent mother-to-child transmission now or in the future.
“Integrating reproductive health care with HIV prevention increases access to quality services and supplies, improves outcomes and reduces costs,” said PAI director of international advocacy Elisha Dunn-Georgiou in a press statement. With that in mind, the project plans to increase integration of reproductive health services in the Global Health Initiative, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.