HIV/AIDS is an issue of tremendous concern to the sexual and reproductive health and rigpopact (SRHR) community. This shouldn’t be news, but it bears repeating. And therefore, SRH initiatives are key to fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS. While stemming the tide of new HIV infections, these programs also curb child and maternal mortality, prevent the spread of other sexually transmitted infections and alleviate global poverty. So, why isn’t SRHR a core component of every global initiative to fight HIV/AIDS? It should be. PAI has joined many in challenging the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria to make it so.
Many men and women already actively seek reproductive health services, whether for family planning, contraceptives, or treatment for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. Linking these services to HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment—as well as malaria and tuberculosis programs—provides another avenue for men and women to get the supplies and services they need to prevent these deadly diseases, helping the Global Fund to reach its targets: men, women, young people, children and other vulnerable groups.
As the Global Fund’s Replenishment Conference convenes later this month in Berlin, it is critical that SRHR, through strong involvement of key civil society representation, receives the recognition of its significant role in the Global Fund’s mission: preventing HIV and meeting the health needs of those already infected. To date, the process by which the Global Fund invites proposals, the in-country work to develop these proposals, and the process by which they are approved does not adequately support the role of SRHR or sexual and reproductive health providers.
After just a few short years, the Global Fund has saved over 1.8 million lives worldwide. Just think what can be accomplished—how many more lives saved—if the Global Fund partnered with the life-saving work of sexual and reproductive health providers.