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RESEARCH Open Access Linking sexual and reproductive health and HIV interventions: a systematic review

By Caitlin E Kennedy, Alicen B Spaulding, Deborah Bain Brickley, Lucy Almers, Joy Mirjahangir, Laura Packel, Gail E Kennedy, Michael Mbizvo, Lynn Collins and Kevin Osborne


Background: The international community agrees that the Millennium Development Goals will not be achieved without ensuring universal access to both sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services and HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, care and support. Recently, there has been increasing awareness and discussion of the possible benefits of linkages between SRH and HIV programmes at the policy, systems and service delivery levels. However, the evidence for the efficacy of these linkages has not been systematically assessed. Methods: We conducted a systematic review of the evidence for interventions linking SRH and HIV. Structured methods were employed for searching, screening and data extraction. Studies from 1990 to 2007 reporting prepost or multi-arm evaluation data from SRH-HIV linkage interventions were included. Study design rigour was scored on a nine-point scale. Unpublished programme reports were gathered as “promising practices”. Results: Of more than 50,000 citations identified, 185 studies were included in the review and 35 were analyzed. These studies had heterogeneous interventions, populations, objectives, study designs, rigour and measured outcomes. SRH-HIV linkage interventions were generally considered beneficial and feasible. The majority of studies showed improvements in all outcomes measured. While there were some mixed results, there were very few negative findings. Generally, positive effects were shown for key outcomes, including HIV incidence, sexuall

Year: 2013
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