UN Urges for Integration of HIV Prevention and Reproductive Health Services
A new report urges for the integration of reproductive health services with HIV prevention strategies to better address the global threat of HIV to women. The report, published by the Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI) and the Joint United Nations Program of AIDS (UNAIDS) in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), calls for overcoming financial shortfalls and the resistance to acknowledge women’s and adolescents’ sexuality, reports UN News Service, because “reproductive health service providers could make a significant contribution in closing the gap in HIV prevention.”
According to the report, reproductive health providers have the knowledge and skills to adequately address the alarming spread of HIV/AIDS amongst women. In addition, these providers have access to reproductive-aged women, who account for nearly half of the adults living with HIV worldwide. According to the report, reproductive health providers could provide HIV counseling and condom promotion; prevention, diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases that could increase the risk of HIV transmission; and assist HIV-positive women in preventing unwanted pregnancies to reduce the chances of transmitting HIV to infants.
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .