Being HIV positive shouldn’t stop women having and enjoying
sex, or making choices about whether and when to have children.
HIV & contraception is an
interactive, online tool to help women with HIV make an informed choice about
effective methods of contraception that suit their lifestyle: www.aidsmap.com/contraception
Sexual Health Week
Sexual health charities Brook and FPA make clear how
important good sexual and reproductive health is to everyone in their XES
“Having healthy sex is
important because of the impact it has on a person's wider health and welbeing.
Control over our fertility, safety from infections and access to good quality,
unbiased information and support is all vital and helps us maintain safe, happy
But having HIV can make achieving these goals a little more
complex, not least when it comes to choosing contraception. During Sexual Health Week
2013, we’d like to highlight a new resource we have developed to help women
with HIV – and the professionals who support them – to understand their
We know that it can be difficult for staff in mainstream
contraception and sexual health services to give detailed
information and advice on contraception that takes HIV and HIV treatment into
account. While they may be aware that some anti-HIV drugs can make some
hormonal contraceptives less reliable, they may not have up-to-date information
about specific drugs and specific contraceptives. And some women with HIV may
lack confidence when talking about their HIV status or their HIV treatment with
staff in non-HIV-specialist services.
HIV & contraception is an
interactive, online tool developed by NAM to help women with HIV make an
informed choice about effective methods of contraception that suit their
lifestyle and preferences.
After answering a series of questions about her health and
preferences, the user is given detailed, personalised information about
contraception. This takes into account any HIV treatment she is taking. The
personalised factsheet presents an overview of types of contraception, and
highlights the ones that may best suit her circumstances.
This is a complex subject, with lots of variables affecting
the best advice for each woman. In developing the tool, we’ve aimed to make the
information provided as straightforward and accessible as possible by
presenting only the information that is relevant to that individual.
Staff at contraception or sexual health clinics could
encourage women to use the tool on their own – it would work well as
preparation for an appointment for example. Or staff could work through the
tool with their patient as part of a consultation.
Like all NAM’s
resources, HIV & contraception is
based on the most up-to-date scientific and medical understanding of the topic. We worked with doctors and nurses to
ensure it was thoroughly reviewed for clinical accuracy. And we’re particularly
grateful to the community organisations and the women living with HIV who
helped us produce this new resource, and gave us feedback on how useful they
found it and how easy it was to use.
As well as
this resource on contraception, we have produced a second online tool, HIV & pregnancy for women with
HIV who are starting a family. You can read more about it in the aidsmap
We have to
admit to being delighted with this comment on Twitter from Dr Chelsea Polis, a leading researcher into HIV and
“So impressed with the
new aidsmap tools to assist HIV+
women to achieve safer pregnancy or to choose a contraceptive method.”
And we are delighted that the tool is being well received
and used by other organisations, including Positively UK, HIV Scotland, the
NHS (visit the NHS Apps library),
the Royal College of General Practitioners and Mumsnet.
For more information
If you would like more information about this resource, or
if you would like to tell us what you think of it or how you have used it,
please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org