Strengthening the integration of family planning and HIV services at the community level in Kenya

Implementation science study reveals that many Kenyan women living with HIV are comfortable receiving family planning (FP) services from community health volunteers and with proper training and support, community health volunteers have the potential to provide integrated FP/HIV services. Community-based integrated FP/HIV services could help connect women living with HIV who want to prevent or postpone a pregnancy to contraceptive services, which can reduce unintended pregnancies and in turn maternal mortality and vertical transmission of HIV.

The Evidence Project produced a package of materials that includes a research report and programmatic brief describing the intervention that could be used by policy makers and program implementers interested in integrating FP services into existing HIV services at the community-level.

The research report offers evidence of the feasibility, quality of care, and acceptability of using community health volunteers to integrate family planning into existing HIV/AIDS services for women living with HIV at the community-level in Busia County, Kenya. The report also provides an incremental cost-analysis to estimate the additional health system cost for integrating the provision of pills and condoms into community health volunteers’ existing activities, and the recurrent cost of maintaining these additional services.

The programmatic brief describes the implementation process and intervention tested under the Evidence Project for delivering integrated FP and HIV services at the community-level. The brief outlines the implementation steps, best practices and lessons learned of an intervention that was tested within the existing community health structure. Community health volunteers were trained to offer FP as part of their routine services to women living with HIV and community health units were prepared to sustain those services.