Welcome to the April 2017 Sexual Health & HIV Policy EUROBulletin. This is the first edition published by NAM, following the closure of MEDFASH at the end of the year. Thank you to our friends at MEDFASH for their support in creating this bulletin. The bulletin will be published quarterly and aims to provide information about policies, programmes, standards, guidance, evidence and research, and emerging issues in sexual and reproductive healthcare, HIV treatment and care, prevention and sexual health promotion in Europe. Please spread the word!
In this issue we have an eFeature interview with Dr Manjulaa Narasimhan, who is the lead technical officer at the World Health Organization (WHO) for the first Consolidated guideline on sexual and reproductive health and rights of women living with HIV. The process for creating the guideline was refreshing in its emphasis on listening to women living with HIV and we spoke to Manjulaa about that process and the issues the guideline sets out to address.
The year began with the news that the United States would reinstate the global gag rule, which denies funding to organisations which provide any services relating to abortion. European governments were quick to take a stand, led by the Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, pledging money to replace funding for women's heath and rights under the banner, 'She Decides'.
Other items to look out for in this edition include: a new report from ECDC providing guidance for member states on effective antenatal screening programmes; a warning of a hepatitis A outbreak among men who have sex with men; and 'We Demand More!', a sexuality education advocacy handbook for young people.
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Dr Manjulaa Narasimhan works in the Reproductive Health and Research Department at the World Health Organization (WHO). She is the lead technical officer for the newly published Consolidated guideline on sexual and reproductive health and rights of women living with HIV.
In this eFeature interview, Manjulaa talks us through the process she led to create the guideline, including taking the unusual step of starting with a global community survey of women living with HIV.
Treatment & service guidelines
Sexual and reproductive health rights for women living with HIV
WHO has published the new 'Consolidated guideline on sexual and reproductive health and rights of women living with HIV'.
A checklist for providers of contraceptive services
WHO has also recently published a checklist for health care providers, 'Quality of care in contraceptive information and services, based on human rights standards'.
Antenatal screening in Europe: how to avoid mother-to-child transmission of infections
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has published a new report and two literature reviews providing guidance for member states on effective antenatal screening programmes. Screening is an important part of preventing transmission of infections, including HIV, syphilis and hepatitis B.
Evidence, data & research
Warning of hepatitis A outbreak among men who have sex with men in Europe
An outbreak of hepatitis A in Europe has affected 287 people in at least 13 countries, with large numbers of cases in the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands. Public health authorities have identified three clusters of cases in which men who have sex with men (MSM) predominate.
Men from Latin America and central Europe now outnumber sub-Saharan Africans in HIV diagnoses in European migrants
The latest figures from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) show that while in the last ten years in Europe the proportion of people with HIV who are not from the country where they are diagnosed has hardly changed, the makeup of the migrant population has. Although sub-Saharan Africans still form the largest regional population, diagnoses in migrants from Latin America and the Caribbean, and intra-European migrants from central and eastern Europe, now comfortably outnumber new diagnoses in sub-Saharan Africans.
Nearly two-thirds of European HIV cases are now in Russia
The annual number of new cases of HIV increased by at least 8% in 2015 in the whole of the World Health Organization (WHO) European region, and by 60% in the last decade, according to the annual surveillance report by ECDC and WHO Europe.
Results of the Flash! PrEP in Europe survey
Survey finds good knowledge of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in Europe and a considerable amount of unsupported informal PrEP use.
Parliament & other European institutions
Contraception Atlas: ranking European countries by access to contraception
The European Parliamentary Forum on Population & Development (EPF) has produced a Contraception Atlas, a map that ranks European countries on access to contraception. The rankings are based on access to contraceptive supplies, family planning counselling and online information.
European Parliament resolution on the rights of women
EPF reports that a new European Parliament resolution on the rights of women in EU eastern partnership states contains strong language on sexual and reproductive health rights.
European Parliament recognises specific discrimination faced by trans and intersex people
ILGA-Europe reports that the European Parliament adopted two reports containing significant provisions in relation to the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people.
Policy development & guidance
The anti-choice movement in Europe
A new report, 'Study for policy makers on opposition to sexual and reproductive health and rights in Europe', was launched during a debate in the European Parliament on the anti-choice agenda.
Reversing the HIV epidemic: Europe needs to scale-up prevention, testing and treatment
How to reverse the HIV epidemic in Europe was discussed at a two-day conference in Malta.
Sexual health rights & advocacy
European governments have pledged to increase funding for women's heath and rights under the banner 'She Decides', in response to any decrease in US funding as a result of the global gag rule.
Across western Europe, migrants from all parts of the world start HIV treatment later
An analysis of over 150,000 people living with HIV in eleven western European countries shows that people born abroad are more likely to start HIV treatment with a lower CD4 cell count, especially men coming from African or Caribbean countries.
Reports & resources
Sexuality education advocacy handbook for young people
A new handbook has been launched, aimed at young people who want to improve sexuality education where they live. Called, 'We demand more', it was produced by an international collaboration of young people and organisations.
Stakeholders in Azerbaijan discuss the strategy for reproductive health (2017–2025)
French MPs ban websites that provide intentionally misleading information on abortion.
Moldova affirms, persons with disabilities must not be discriminated against when they want to form relationships, families and have children.
European parliamentarians urged to act as Polish government seeks to impose restrictions on the availability of emergency contraception.
New emergency contraception guideline launched in the UK.