Say you’re living with HIV but married to someone who isn’t. When you go to the nearest clinic to get contraceptives, you probably also want to receive medication for your HIV. Your partner also wants to be routinely tested to ensure they’re still negative. Unfortunately, you might end up needing to go to three separate clinics: one for contraceptives, one for HIV medication, and one for HIV testing. And to top it all off — each one of the clinics may only offer these services on certain days or at certain times, they’re all miles away from each other, and getting there requires a full day of walking.
How likely is it that you’ll be able to return to each clinic once a month? Not likely. You’ll have to miss work, someone will need to watch your kids, and your HIV status might become public knowledge.
To see how frustrating this is for women seeking family planning services in developing countries, take a look at our latest infographic. You’ll soon see why 222 million women around the world want contraceptives, but haven’t been able to access them.
It’s no surprise that the latest research shows tremendous benefits to integrating HIV and reproductive health services. The results of an expansive five-year research project were just released, and researchers found integrating HIV services into family planning and post natal care improved uptake of HIV counseling and testing, among other benefits.
We’ve been saying it for years: health clinics need to offer contraceptives and reproductive health care as well as HIV testing and treatment. If a patient has to walk dozens of miles to get to another clinic after they’ve already made the journey once, it’s not likely they’ll be able to keep up with treatment.
The idea of offering comprehensive healthcare is so ingrained— we can’t imagine having to walk dozens of miles to three different clinics — that the problem is often overlooked. Share this infographic on Facebook and Twitter to expose the frustrating reality for millions of women trying to access contraception.