Sexual & Reproductive Health and HIV: beyond Silos
Using a broad gender and human rights perspective, this 3-week course will enable you to improve sexual & reproductive health programmes in LMIC settings.
Deadline: 1 October 2023
5 ECTS Credits
Sexual and Reproductive Health and HIV in the 2030 Agenda
Every year, 300,000 maternal deaths, 2.1 million stillbirths, 2.6 million neonatal deaths occur worldwide, and about 150,000 children under 5 years of age acquire HIV mainly through vertical transmission. About 218 million women of reproductive age in low and middle resource settings who want to avoid pregnancy are not using a modern contraceptive method and about 25 million unsafe abortions occur each year contributing heavily to maternal mortality and morbidity, which fall disproportionately on the most vulnerable groups of women and adolescent girls. HIV has led to one of the most devastating epidemics of the 20th century. It became the leading cause of death in Sub Saharan Africa and worldwide 37.7 million people are now living with HIV. Key populations such as sex workers, Men who have Sex with Men and People who Inject Drug are disproportionally affected by the epidemic.
How to prevent and treat the vast majority of sexual, reproductive, maternal and newborn ill-health is well-known. However, putting policy and evidence into practice through the delivery of good quality healthcare and tackling broader inequalities remains a major challenge. Progress has been made in the past decades, for instance, on the reduction of maternal mortality and vertical HIV transmission. However, the current rate of improvement is insufficient to meet the ambitious 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including ensuring universal access to sexual and reproductive health care services. The field faces additional challenges with continued population growth in certain regions, the largest generation of adolescents in history, and insecure access to sexual and reproductive rights and choices, among others. Reducing the rate of new HIV infections turned out to be extremely challenging. With no cure or vaccine, combination prevention needs to reach key populations, who often lack basic human rights and for whom stigma and discrimination undermine service access.
Historically SRH and HIV programs have been siloed, despite their thematic overlap. Broad consensus now exists that linking SRH and HIV is not only beneficial but needed to meet the international targets. Policies have been outlined, but implementation is lacking behind. Time to address this unfinished agenda!
This 3-week course is designed for programme managers, decision-makers, health professionals/clinicians, and researchers involved in sexual and reproductive health programmes and interventions.
The course takes a gender and human rights perspective and provides conceptual, theory-and evidence- based frameworks and tools for the management and evaluation of sexual, reproductive, health programmes, in particular in LMIC, The course provides a unique opportunity to understand important and current issues in sexual and reproductive health within broader social, health system and policy contexts.
The course draws on ITM’s comprehensive expertise in sexual and reproductive health, maternal and newborn health, HIV/STI including epidemiological, social science and health systems perspectives, and builds on the rich exchange of experience between students from many different regions.
Upon completion of the course, participants should be able to:
- Describe the international context in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights
- Assess the importance of a set of sexual and reproductive health problems, maternal and newborn health, HIV&STI prevention issues, and their main determinants including from a gender perspective at national and local levels
- Critically appraise the evidence on sexual and reproductive health, maternal and newborn health, HIV&STI prevention interventions and formulate context-adapted strategies considering the existing health system’s organisation, the national and global actors involved including the beneficiaries, the available resources and community empowerment approaches
- Appreciate the relevance and feasibility of various models of care provision, health promotion, levels of integration and continuum of care perspectives
- Critically engage in monitoring and evaluating sexual, reproductive programmes
- Apply the principles of human rights and gender equality in sexual and reproductive health programmes, including in HIV&STI prevention
- Communicate with local, national and global actors/stakeholders in an effective way