Integrating STD/HIV Services into Reproductive Health Settings
In many countries, preventing, detecting, and treating sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are essential parts of reproductive health services. In light of the pandemic of the human immunodeficiency viruses (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency disease (AIDS) and the roleof STDs in making men and women more vulnerable to HIV infection, STD services are receiving increased attention. Because of the scarcity of stand-alone STD clinics and the stigma associated with going to them, the general population and especially women are deterred from using them. To address this problem, policy makers and program managers working in primary health care, family planning, and family planning/maternal health are considering or are implementing strategies to integrate STD/HIV activities into their existing services.
This issue of The Manager provides guidance on how to approach the challenge of integrating STD/HIV activities into reproductive health settings in a systematic fashion. It provides a framework for conducting a situation analysis to identify the needs and strategies for integrated services, and outlines steps for determining the kinds of activities that might be appropriate to integrate. The issue then addresses the principal management systems that may need to be strengthened or adjusted to implement integrated services, paying particular attention to human resources, logistics, and management information systems.