The V UNGASS Forum South Africa, held on February 3rd and 4th, and organized by MOSAIC and Health Trust System, focused on the linkages between and integration of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and HIV/AIDS at various levels. The event had the participation of over 40 women’s organizations.
One of the main results of the forum was the preparation of a report that was submitted to South Africa National Aids Commission (SANAC) and later was annexed to South Africa’s 2010 UNGASS Report, highlighting the importance of integration between SRHR and HIV/AIDS.
The development of a SRHR policy which integrates HIV&AIDS into SRHR programmes, and conversely, SRHR into HIV&AIDS programmes and the review and update of ARV treatment guidelines to cover relevant SRHR issues beyond ARVs are some recommendations highlighted by the report.
The Forum made also recommendations to address the gaps and challenges of integration efforts in South Africa. At structural level, it recommended the development of a unified M&E framework that is informed by human rights; that takes SRHR and quality of care issues into consideration more effectively; and that allows for collection of disaggregated data on SRHR and HIV/AIDS at national, provincial and local levels.
The document will be used by the Women’s Sector in the next two years to guide its advocacy and service-related programs. And will contribute to a much broader view of treatment of HIV positive women in South Africa.