Mothers at a clinic providing PMTCT services © Alliance
HIV programming Scale up integrated HIV programming

In partnership with Marie Stopes International

International HIV/AIDS Alliance and Marie Stopes International partner to combat HIV and maternal mortality

AIDS and complications related to pregnancy and childbirth are the two main causes of death in women of reproductive age globally.

In July 2011 the International HIV/AIDS Alliance and Marie Stopes International announced a new partnership which combines their collective strengths within the sexual and reproductive health arena: community action on AIDS and family planning.

The leading causes of maternal and child death in many developing countries are the lack of quality antenatal care and family planning services, increasing rates of HIV infection and the gap in access to life-saving HIV treatment.

Linking HIV and sexual and reproductive health services in order to reduce vulnerability to HIV, sexually transmitted infections and other sexual and reproductive health issues including reduction in maternal mortality, has long been recognised as a highly efficient and cost effective intervention. The International HIV/AIDS Alliance and Marie Stopes International are now leveraging their extensive experience and service delivery platforms to achieve a comprehensive response.

The partnership works to:20 year old Betty Scholar and her niece at home © Nell Freeman for the Alliance

  • prevent HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections
  • improve the lives of those living with HIV/AIDS, including broadening access to quality, stigma-free family planning and HIV/AIDS treatment
  • decrease maternal mortality and reduce unwanted pregnancy.

The first phase of the partnership focuses on programmes in Zambia, Uganda and Cambodia.

In Cambodia, Marie Stopes International and Alliance Linking Organisation KHANA have begun an assessment of the current level of sexual and reproductive health and rights integration in KHANA’s HIV programmes, and how to increase this in the future.

Marie Stopes International has already integrated HIV into its sexual and reproductive health services in many country programmes, including voluntary counselling and testing, activity around the prevention of mother-to-child-transmission, male circumcision and sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment.

But the partnership ensures comprehensive action across all 40 countries Marie Stopes International operates in. In Zambia and Tanzania, thanks to the USAID-funded SIFPO project, the Alliance successfully tested a self-assessment checklist which will be rolled out to all country programmes so they can measure the level of HIV integration in their sexual and reproductive health services, and develop appropriate actions based on the assessment results.

We are working towards a shared vision of a world with good sexual and reproductive health, free from HIV and where every birth is wanted.

Read how a new self-assessment tool, developed as part of the Alliance’s partnership with MSI, has helped to increase access to family planning and HIV services.