“One-stop shop” family planning more effective for women living with HIV

Bixby Center researchers have released the first study to show that integrating HIV care and family planning services reduces the pregnancy rate among women living with HIV in Kenya—by nearly 30 percent. Women receiving integrated care also use more effective contraceptive methods at a higher rate. Previous research has shown that the majority of women living with HIV in Kenya want to avoid a pregnancy in the near future.

Provider counsels woman on HIV prevention
The study, conducted in collaboration with the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), compared contraceptive use and pregnancy rates for HIV-positive women receiving care at integrated clinics to those still receiving HIV care and family planning services separately.

In addition to proving that the “one-stop shop” model significantly improves family planning outcomes, the study also demonstrated that the model can be effectively implemented locally. A joint UCSF-KEMRI team led service integration of initial clinic sites, and then transitioned management and replication efforts to the Kenya Ministry of Health. Positive outcomes were sustained at clinics under local management.

Unintended pregnancies can be damaging to any woman’s future, but they can be especially dangerous for women living with HIV. Such pregnancies can result in mother-to-child-transmission of HIV and other adverse pregnancy outcomes.

“This study is the most comprehensive proof we have that when family planning services are easy to access, women living with HIV will use them—and do so effectively,” stated Craig Cohen, MD, MPH, lead researcher and director of Family AIDS Care & Education Services (FACES). “Furthermore, we have demonstrated this model could be easily and locally replicated to reach all of the 16 million women living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa.”

Read BuzzFeed's story about this study and how innovations in family planning, like integrated contraceptive care, may be affected by the recently reinstated Global Gag Rule.