Reproductive rights


All indi­vid­u­als have a human right to con­trol deci­sions regard­ing con­tra­cep­tion, abor­tion, ster­il­iza­tion, and child­birth. Repro­duc­tive rights refer to that free­dom. As a threat to sex­ual and repro­duc­tive health, the HIV pan­demic is shaped by the com­pre­hen­sive­ness and enforce­ment of repro­duc­tive rights. Inte­gra­tion of sex­ual and repro­duc­tive ser­vices with HIV pre­ven­ta­tive and cura­tive ser­vices is key to every stage of the global HIV response. This inte­gra­tion is espe­cially impor­tant for key and vul­ner­a­ble pop­u­la­tions with inter­sec­tional dis­ad­van­tages, which includes women who inject drugs, who are exposed to part­ner vio­lence, and who are deprived of hous­ing.

Repro­duc­tive rights man­date the inte­gra­tion of abor­tion-related care, con­sis­tent con­dom use, pro­mot­ing pre-expo­sure pro­phy­laxis, access to infor­ma­tion and care to reduce ver­ti­cal trans­mis­sion like access to anti­retro­vi­ral dur­ing preg­nancy, Cae­sarean sec­tion, and lim­ited breast­feed­ing with vol­un­tary HIV test­ing and coun­selling. This inte­gra­tion is essen­tial to ensure that every indi­vid­ual has the abil­ity to make inde­pen­dent, informed, and con­fi­den­tial choices about one’s sex­ual and repro­duc­tive health. To achieve this, the entire repro­duc­tive health and HIV ecosys­tems have to coop­er­ate with one another achiev­ing har­mony between a sen­si­tive and syn­er­gised health sec­tor with gen­der-sen­si­tive and rights-based polit­i­cal cli­mate. Com­mu­ni­ties must come together to ensure that the needs of the key and vul­ner­a­ble pop­u­la­tions are met.

Prece­dents in the Lan­guage Com­pendium call for the repeal of dis­crim­i­na­tory laws and poli­cies that increase women and girls’ vul­ner­a­bil­ity to HIV and to address vio­la­tions of their sex­ual and repro­duc­tive health and rights. The Lan­guage Com­pendium also reflect prece­dents rec­og­niz­ing that sex­ual and gen­der-based vio­lence, includ­ing inti­mate part­ner vio­lence, the unequal socioe­co­nomic sta­tus of women, struc­tural bar­ri­ers to women’s eco­nomic empow­er­ment and insuf­fi­cient pro­tec­tion of the sex­ual and repro­duc­tive health and repro­duc­tive rights com­pro­mise the abil­ity of women and girl’s to pro­tect them­selves from HIV infec­tion and aggra­vate the pan­demic. These prece­dents also call for increas­ing national lead­er­ship, resource allo­ca­tion, and other mea­sures to enhance, among oth­ers, sex­ual and repro­duc­tive health-care ser­vices.


2021 Global AIDS Strategy 2021-2026

2021 Political declaration on HIV and AIDS

2020 Resolution on violence against women migrant workers

2019 Political declaration of the HLM on UHC

2011 Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS

2006 Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS

Expert precedents

2022 Report of the Independent Expert on SOGI: Practices of Exclusion

2006 Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health


2022 WHO Consolidated Guidelines on HIV, Viral Hepatitis and STI Prevention, Diagnosis, Treatment and Care for Key Populations

2021 State of World Population

2021 WHO Updated Recommendations on HIV Prevention, EID and ART