Addressing critical gaps in achieving universal access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH): the case for improving adolescent SRH, preventing unsafe abortion, and enhancing linkages between SRH and HIV interventions

Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2010 Jul:110 Suppl:S3-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ijgo.2010.04.001. Epub 2010 May 7.


The new target for achieving universal access to reproductive health was integrated within the revised Millennium Development Goal framework in October 2008, following reaffirmation of this ICPD goal at the 2005 World Summit. To achieve this goal, the Alliance for Women's Health identified 3 issues needing urgent attention: (1) adolescent sexual and reproductive health; (2) unsafe abortions and related mortality and morbidity; and (3) HIV prevention and care. These themes were discussed in Cape Town at the FIGO 2009 Precongress Workshop convened by the Alliance. The critical gaps identified by the Workshop included: the lack of information on sexual and reproductive health (SRH) issues for adolescents, such as safe sexual practices, contraception, risks related to early childbearing; unsafe abortion and its adverse consequences; and inadequate linkages between sexual and reproductive health and HIV interventions that result in missed opportunities for addressing both. Recommendations included the use of innovative information dissemination techniques, ensuring access to family planning and comprehensive abortion care to the full extent allowed by national laws, in accordance with FIGO and WHO guidelines, and promotion of universal HIV counseling and testing with opt-out strategies within SRH services and information on SRH in all HIV services.

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Induced*
  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Health Services*
  • Contraception
  • Delivery, Obstetric / adverse effects
  • Delivery, Obstetric / mortality
  • Developing Countries / statistics & numerical data
  • Family Planning Services / statistics & numerical data
  • Family Planning Services / supply & distribution
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology*
  • HIV Infections / mortality
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Humans
  • Information Dissemination
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / mortality
  • Pregnancy in Adolescence*
  • Prevalence
  • Reproductive Health Services*
  • Safe Sex
  • Sexual Behavior / statistics & numerical data
  • Young Adult