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HOME: POPULATION ISSUES: PREVENTING HIV INFECTION: HIV/AIDS Update 2002
Preventing HIV Infection
HIV/AIDS Update 2002
Strategy for Prevention
Country Commitments
Regional Response
Global Action
Conclusion: Challenges
Country Commitments

More than 140 countries
Threat to development
Building on lessons learned
Country situations
Emergency and conflict situations

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Building on lessons learned

 
A young sex worker in Cambodia is at high risk for HIV infection. UNFPA supports targeted interventions to reach groups in which AIDS is spreading the fastest.

It is never too late—or too early—to begin prevention programmes. With strong partnerships across many sectors, an effective response addresses prevention, care and support. It builds on the following lessons learned:

  • Prevention works, is cost-effective and feasible;


  • Strong political commitment is a common thread in all countries with positive experiences;


  • Programming should build upon existing infrastructure;


  • All relevant stakeholders must be involved;


  • Programming and implementation must take into account the sociocultural context in each country and community;


  • Effective interventions should be scaled-up to expand coverage and scope.

Prevention can work in any culture. The following well-known success stories derive from very different societies.

They all benefit, however, from the political will to fight AIDS.

  • Uganda was one of the first countries to be devastated by AIDS, and also the first in sub-Saharan Africa to reverse its own epidemic. The Government fought back with a relentless campaign of education. Virtually every Ugandan man, woman and child now knows what it takes to prevent HIV infection.


  • In Senegal, the Government responded to the first cases reported in the 1980s. It launched a national AIDS programme ranging from prevention campaigns in the media to screening of blood transfusions. Senegal’s religious leaders, including Muslim clerics, became the first in Africa to join the prevention effort. As a result, Senegal has kept infection rates to between 1 and 2 per cent.


  • Authorities in Thailand have backed a 100% Condom Use Strategy for sex workers and their clients, supported by pioneering information campaigns targeting the entire population. This strategy has been replicated in Cambodia and piloted in other countries in the region.


  • Concerted prevention efforts in Brazil over the past 10 years have focused both on the population as a whole and on the most vulnerable groups. This strategy, together with advances in care, has resulted in a much smaller epidemic than was predicted a decade ago.

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