Sexual and Reproductive Health

Sexual and Reproductive Health

In 1994, at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo, a 20 year program of action for universal access to reproductive health care was adopted by 179 countries. In 2000, the international community recommitted itself to the goals of the ICPD by adopting eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) at the United Nations Millennium Summit. One MDG, number five, which calls for improvements in maternal mortality, was expanded in 2007 to explicitly include 5b, ‘universal access to reproductive health.’

Today increasing access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services, including through the integration of HIV and SRH, has become a global priority. Increasing access to these services results in improvements in a range of health and economic indicators. At HE2RO we strive to contribute to improved understanding of how best to offer these services given limited resources. Our focus includes women, including young women, men and adolescents.

Projects

  • Costs and Cost Effectiveness of Alternatives for Cervical Cancer Screening and Treatment

    Cervical cancer is one of the most common cancers among women worldwide. Most is caused by persistent infection with high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV). Recent research shows that HIV is a major risk factor for both HPV infection and progression to cervical cancer. In South Africa, where HIV prevalence is high, HPV infection and cervical cancer are significant public health challenges. Scarcity of service delivery capacity in rural communities and specialist services in urban communities 
  • Approaches for Diagnosis and Treatment of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

    South African guidelines call for syndromic management of most STIs, including HPV. With this approach, symptomatic individuals are given treatment for a diagnosed “syndrome” rather than a specific pathogen. Although this approach is recommended for low-resourced settings, the frequent lack of any or specific symptoms in women infected with (an) STI(s) may lead to over or under treatment and continued transmission of STIs and HIV. New technologies, including point-of-care diagnostics, may 
  • Managing Breast Conditions, Including Breast Cancer

    Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women worldwide. It also affects men. However, breast cancer is just one of many breast conditions which may require diagnosis and treatment. Access to comprehensive breast care services is extremely limited in South Africa. Further, little information exists as to the prevalence and epidemiology of breast masses in HIV-infected women and men across the country. HE2RO is partnering with the Breast Care Clinic at Helen Joseph Hospital, Right To Care 
  • Contraceptive Service Delivery

    South Africa recently launched new guidelines for contraceptive provision and approved the contraceptive implant for use in the country. The new guidelines provide targets for shifting the contraceptive method mix and increasing contraceptive prevalence over time. Integrated primary health care requires that patients are able to access all primary health services, including contraceptive services, at one facility. Dedicated HIV facilities have not historically offered these services, but there 
  • Establishing a Package of SRH Services for HIV-Positive and Negative Women

    South Africa has extensive guidelines and policies regarding the provision of sexual and reproductive (SRH) services; however, there are limited, if any, resources available which provide guidance on the current costs of service provision and the potential costs given new policy goals for increasing access. HE2RO staff are engaging policymakers at the national and provision level to establish a clearer understanding of SRH funding in the country and goals for shifting and/or scaling up access. 

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