Access to safe abortion: building choices for women living with HIV and AIDS

Access to safe abortion: building choices for women living with HIV and AIDS

In many areas of the world where HIV prevalence is high, rates of unintended pregnancy and unsafe abortion have also been shown to be high. Despite this, little research has focused on decisions about and experiences of women living with HIV with regard to terminating a pregnancy. In this paper, the authors explore the existing evidence related to global and country-specific barriers to safe abortion for all women, with an emphasis on research gaps around the right of women living with HIV to choose safe abortion services as an option for dealing with unwanted pregnancies. The main focus is on the situation for women living with HIV in Brazil, Namibia and South Africa as examples of three countries with different conditions regarding women’s access to safe legal abortions. Similarities and differences are discussed, and we further outline global and country-specific barriers to safe abortion for all women, ending with recommendations for policy makers and researchers.

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