n Obstetrics and Gynaecology Forum - HIV and contraception - two inextricable public health priorities that have called South Africa to action - editorial

Volume 29 Number 3
  • ISSN : 1029-1962


Stopping the spread of HIV and reducing the unmet need for contraception are global health priorities. South Africa (SA) and in particular the province of KwaZulu-Natal, is the epicenter of the HIV epidemic. In the last decade, through political will and huge financial investment, the country has seen a decreasing trend in HIV incidence and deaths. Globally, 40% of pregnancies are unintended. Accessible safe and effective contraception is a key public health tool. Barrier contraception (male and female condoms) remains the only form of contraception that prevents unintended pregnancies, HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). SA boasts almost 100% knowledge about contraception and a 60% contraceptive prevalence rate yet the unmet need for contraception in sexually active women remains 19%.

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