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Female sex workers (FSWs) have restricted access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services. We therefore implemented and tested a ‘diagonal’ intervention which combined strengthening of FSW-targeted services (vertical) with making public health facilities more FSW-friendly (horizontal). Applying a convergent parallel mixed-methods design, we triangulated the results of the analysis of process indicators, semi-structured interviews with policy makers and health managers, structured interviews with health care providers and group discussions with peer outreach workers. We then formulated integrated conclusions on the interventions’ feasibility, acceptability by providers, managers and policy makers, and potential sustainability.

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Background Having ratified the Convention of Istanbul, the Belgian federal government commits itself to the foundation of Sexual Assault Care Centres (SACC). In the light of researching the feasibility of these centres, this study aimed to evaluate the care for victims of sexual violence (SV) in Belgian hospitals anno 2016 as well as to formulate recommendations for the intended model

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Background: Sexual assault remains a major threat to public health, affecting every gender, gender identity and
sexual orientation. Following the Belgian ratification of the Istanbul Convention in 2016, the feasibility of a Belgian
sexual assault centre model was investigated, aiming to provide more integrated and patient-centred health and
judiciary services to victims of sexual assault. By actively involving health professionals, police and judiciary system
representatives, as well as victims themselves, this feasibility study eventually fed into the Belgian Sexual Assault
Care Centre model. In this process, this paper assessed current Belgian health services and the degree to which the
implementation of this model could contribute to both a more integrated and gender-sensitive care delivery.
Findings from this study and the subsequent recommendations aim to contribute to similar reforms in other
countries that have already taken or are about to take steps towards an integrated, multi-agency support
framework for victims of sexual assault.

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Background: Sexual violence (SV) is a major public health problem, with negative socio-economic, physical, mental, sexual, and reproductive health consequences. Migrants, applicants for international protection, and refugees (MARs) are vulnerable to SV. Since many European countries are seeing high migratory pressure, the development of prevention strategies and care paths focusing on victimised MARs is highly needed. To this end, this study reviews evidence on the prevalence of SV among MAR groups in Europe and the challenges encountered in research on this topic.

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Background: Epidemiological studies have established human papillomavirus (HPV) infection as the central cause of invasive cervical cancer (ICC) and its precursor lesions. HIV is associated with a higher prevalence and persistence of a broader range of high-risk HPV genotypes, which in turn results in a higher risk of cervical disease. Recent WHO HPV vaccination schedule recommendations, along with the roll out of HAART at an earlier CD4 count within the female HIV-infected population, may have programmatic implications for sub Saharan Africa. This communication identifies research areas, which will need to be addressed for determining a HPV vaccine schedule for this population in sub Saharan Africa. A review of WHO latest recommendations and the evidence concerning one-dose HPV vaccine schedules was undertaken.

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Background: Although it is well established that systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) negatively affects pregnancy outcomes, there is insufficient evidence on the effect of lupus nephritis (LN) on antenatal management and pregnancy outcomes. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to determine the association of LN with management and pregnancy outcomes in SLE patients.

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Background: Female Sex Workers (FSWs) are predisposed to a broad range of social, sexual and reproductive health problems such as sexually transmitted infections (STIs)/HIV, unintended pregnancy, violence, sexual exploitation, stigma and discrimination. Female sex workers have unmet need for contraceptives and require comprehensive Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) prevention interventions. Existing programs pay little attention to the broad sexual and reproductive health and rights of these women and often focus on HIV and other STIs prevention, care and treatment while neglecting their reproductive health needs, including access to family planning methods. The aim of this study is, therefore, to explore the experiences of female sex workers with using existing contraceptive methods, assess individual and health facility-level barriers and document inter-partner relationship in the use of contraceptives.

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Background: Retention in anti-retroviral therapy (ART) presents a challenge in sub-Saharan Africa. In Mozambique, after roll-out to peripheral facilities, the 12-month retention rate was reported mostly from sites with an electronic patient tracking system (EPTS), representing only 65% of patients. We conducted a nationally representative study, compared 12-month retention at EPTS and non-EPTS sites, and its predictors.

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Background:
Sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) is a widespread public health problem and a violation of human rights rooted in gender and power inequities. Refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants living in European asylum reception facilities (EARF) are especially vulnerable to SGBV. To contribute to closing the gap on systematic and accurate evidence on SGBV, we aim to explore reported cases of SGBV, causes and preventable measures described by residents and professionals from EARF.

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Background: Hymen reconstruction (HR) involves the restoration of the hymeneal membrane’s gross anatomical integrity. Among the medical profession, hymen reconstruction receives particular attention and its necessity is debated because the surgery is not medically indicated, and often reveals conflicting social norms on virginity and marriageability between health professionals and their patients. The focus of this paper is not to address the many open questions that the ethics and politics around HR reveal, but rather aims at contributing to the much-needed empirical evidence. It presents findings of a study conducted in Belgium (Flanders region), among gynaecologists that aimed at assessing their knowledge, views, and experiences on hymen reconstruction.

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