Objective: To conduct a systematic review of the literature and examine the effectiveness, optimal circumstances, and best practices for strengthening linkages between family planning and HIV interventions.
Design: Systematic review of peer-reviewed articles and unpublished program reports ('promising practices') evaluating interventions linking family planning and HIV services.
Methods: Articles were included if they reported post-intervention evaluation results from an intervention linking family planning and HIV services between 1990 and 2007. Systematic methods were used for searching, screening, and data extraction. Quality assessment was conducted using a 9-point rigor scale.
Results: Sixteen studies were included in the analysis (10 peer-reviewed studies and six promising practices). Interventions were categorized into six types: family planning services provided to HIV voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) clients, family planning and VCT services provided to maternal and child health clients, family planning services provided to people living with HIV, community health workers provided family planning and HIV services, VCT provided to family planning clinic clients, and VCT and family planning services provided to women receiving postabortion care. Average study design rigor was low (3.25 out of 9). Most studies reported generally positive or mixed results for key outcomes; no negative results were reported.
Conclusion: Interventions linking family planning and HIV services were generally considered feasible and effective, though overall evaluation rigor was low.