Community Innovation

Achieving sexual and reproductive health and rights for women and girls through the HIV response

The case studies in this report, from across sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, Europe and Central Asia, Latin America and North America, highlight the rich diversity of community initiatives that bridge sexual and reproductive health and rights and HIV. The report has a strategic emphasis on the innovation that is being led by women living with HIV and features pioneering endeavours that reflect community and key stakeholder interpretation and understanding of how this intersection is defined. It profiles initiatives that have emerged from within the HIV sector as it broadens out to encompass a sexual and reproductive health and rights approach, as well as initiatives that have emerged from within the women’s health and rights sector as the latter has taken on HIV-related services and programmes; showing that both sectors are taking steps to integrate services and build synergies.

The main lesson to draw from this report is the importance of community engagement and the key leadership role that women living with HIV have to play in tailoring the HIV response to their needs. When HIV and sexual and reproductive health and rights providers come together to empower affected communities to take the lead, enabling environments are created that help to open discussion, improve knowledge of the issues affecting women living with HIV, and ultimately improve access to comprehensive and holistic services that advance women’s and girls’ health and rights. Effective initiatives include training members of the community as advocates, providing safe arenas for open discussion and engaging men as co-drivers of social change.