Family Planning and HIV

Voluntary family planning is an indispensible component of HIV prevention and treatment. 

The majority of new HIV infections are sexually transmitted.

The same people who are at risk of unintended pregnancy are also at risk of HIV infection. Voluntary family planning programs give women, youth, and men the information and services they need to protect themselves and their partners from unintended pregnancies, HIV, and other sexually transmitted infections.  

Voluntary family planning programs increase access to and uptake of HIV prevention information and services. 

Voluntary family planning and other reproductive health services are an important entry point to addressing HIV risk factors (including gender-based violence and sexual coercion), safe sex negotiation, voluntary counseling and testing, prevention of vertical transmission of HIV, and other prevention interventions. These services also reach women, youth, and men who would not seek out HIV services independent of other health services because of stigma or other barriers.

Linking voluntary family planning and HIV programs improves access to quality health services. 

Linking HIV and reproductive health programs, like voluntary family planning and maternal health, improves access to both HIV and reproductive health services, reduces HIV-related stigma and discrimination, and extends programs to underserved populations.

Access to voluntary family planning services promotes human rights and increases the quality of life of women, youth, and men living with HIV.

All individuals—including those living with HIV—have the basic right to decide the number and spacing of their children and to have the information, education, and means to do so, free from discrimination, coercion, and violence. Access to voluntary family planning services ensures that women, youth and men living with HIV can exercise their right to the highest attainable standard of sexual and reproductive health, and allows for the management of family size and prevention of vertical transmission of HIV.

Voluntary family planning services provide access to critical prevention methods, including female and male condoms.

Women, youth, and men living with HIV have a higher risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections, including additional strains of HIV. Correct and consistent use of female and male condoms is the only method that reduces both this risk and the risk of unintended pregnancy.

Access to voluntary family planning services decreases maternal deaths among women and girls living with HIV. 

Women and girls living with HIV are more likely to experience pregnancy complications, and are at a higher risk of maternal death. Voluntary family planning and other reproductive health programs empower women living with HIV to prevent health complications related to unintended pregnancies and to plan pregnancies based on their child-bearing desires and health needs.

Additional resources:

What Does Family Planning Have to do With HIV? Everything and
Family Planning Restrictions and the Effect on HIV/AIDS