Policy & Issue Briefs


Comprehensive HIV Prevention

July 1, 2008

In 2007, more than 6,800 people became infected with HIV every day, and new HIV infections outnumbered persons receiving treatment by nearly 3 to 1. Comprehensive HIV prevention—including both condoms and contraceptives—must become a top priority in the continued fight against … Continue reading »


A Measure of Survival

October 15, 2007

Pregnancy and childbirth are deadly to more than half a million women worldwide every year—a fact that is unacceptable, but not unavoidable. Despite twenty years of campaigning to improve their sexual and reproductive health, the risk of dying in pregnancy … Continue reading »


Family Planning – A Crucial Intervention for HIV-positive Women

May 1, 2007

Each year, over 600,000 children around the world are infected with HIV through mother-to-child-transmission (MTCT), totaling 2.3 million children living with HIV or AIDS today.1 The majority of these infections is occurring in sub-Saharan Africa and are acquired from mothers during … Continue reading »


Fewer or More? The Real Story of Global Population

April 2, 2007

The phrase “population crisis” once roused fears of uncontrollable growth in human numbers. However, now that many societies have improved women’s status and increased access to family planning, some analysts argue that if there is a population crisis it is … Continue reading »


Questions and Answers on Female Genital Mutilation

January 2, 2007

Q. What is female genital mutilation (FGM)? A. Female genital mutilation (sometimes erroneously called “female circumcision”) refers to three different kinds of cutting procedures performed on the external genitalia (vulva) of young girls or women. The three basic types of FGM are: … Continue reading »

How Shifts To Smaller Family Sizes Contributed To The Asian Miracle

July 3, 2006

Economists credit declining fertility, from the mid-1960s to the early 1990s, as a major contributor to sustained economic growth among the Asian Tigers—the economically vibrant nations of South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and the former Hong Kong Territory. … Continue reading »


How Family Planning Protects the Health of Women and Children

May 1, 2006

Family planning dramatically improves the health and chances of survival of both women and their children. At the same time, when parents are more confident their children will survive, they are more likely to have fewer children and plan the … Continue reading »


How Access to Sexual and Reproductive Health Services is Key to the MDGs

September 1, 2005

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) offer precise targets for reducing poverty and promoting global development, but they remain incomplete if they do not build from and incorporate the objectives of other major international agreements, particularly those reached at the International … Continue reading »


How Population Growth Affects Hunger in the Developing World

August 1, 2005

More than 850 million people worldwide are classified as undernourished, many of whom suffer from chronic hunger (also known as food insecurity). Rapid population growth is intensifying food insecurity in parts of the developing world, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa where … Continue reading »


Contraceptive Use Helps Reduce the Incidence of Abortion

August 1, 2005

Nearly 80 million unintended pregnancies occur worldwide every year. More than half of these pregnancies end in abortion, often in countries where abortion is illegal and access to contraception is limited. Access to voluntary family planning services, including contraception, is … Continue reading »