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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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Country situations

 
An HIV/AIDS education banner is displayed by university students in Nicaragua during a campus campaign to prevent infection among young people.

Prevention initiatives are designed in response to the situation in each country. Working closely with partners in governments, UNFPA emphasizes the integration of HIV prevention within the country programme development processes.*

Programme components may include a comprehensive package of reproductive health services in areas such as maternal health; family planning; adolescent reproductive health; advocacy; voluntary counselling and testing (VCT); information, education and communication and behaviourchange communication (IEC/BCC) and training of health workers and peer educators.

Prevention initiatives are needed in every country, whether HIV prevalence rates are low or high. Widespread epidemics may be avoided by seeking out specific groups at higher-risk—injecting drug users, migrant workers, long-distance drivers, men in the armed services, men who have sex with men, internally displaced persons, refugees, sex workers and their clients.

Focusing on young people is always an effective strategy.

  • Adolescents in Vientiane, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, are participating in peer educator training on HIV/AIDS and other reproductive health issues at a new UNFPA-supported youth centre. The centre provides social activities, skills training and reproductive health information and services including confidential counselling.


  • To prevent transmission of the virus to caregivers from terminally ill people living with HIV/AIDS, home-based care kits including plastic gloves, plastic gowns and other disposable items were distributed through seven government and NGO institutions in Swaziland. UNFPA directed support to the effort as a co-sponsor of UNAIDS and multilateral and bilateral donors.


  • Calling for “AIDS-free campuses”, students in Benin are making use of STI and HIV prevention services on two university campuses and several other non-hospital settings. In 2001, the UNFPA-supported project recruited and trained 30 presenters, 10 motivational speakers and 40 peer edu- cators to raise awareness among students; installed 20 automated condom machines; and organized public events and radio and television campaigns.


  • Peer education on HIV/AIDS is carried out in Botswana by faith-based organizations such as the Young Women’s Christian Association and the Botswana Christian Council, with support from UNFPA. Some churches have started to manage adolescent sexual and reproductive health clinics.
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Messages to raise awareness, change behaviour


Cartoons in a Nigerian calendar address reproductive health issues faced by young people and their concerned parents. UNFPA-supported information, education and communication projects promote open discussion and provide young people with knowledge and skills to protect their reproductive health.
   

UNFPA supports a wide variety of interventions in behaviour-change communication and life skills education that take into consideration age, gender and cultural setting.

The aim is to encourage positive and healthy lifestyles, good social norms and safer sexual behaviours.

Especially for young people, this entails promoting positive attitudes and skills—self-esteem, negotiation, coping, critical thinking, decision-making, communication and assertiveness.

  • Teachers in Togo are integrating messages about HIV/AIDS and other STIs into formal education following training sessions in a programme that also produced 2,000 copies of a teacher’s guide and 7,000 copies of an activity book for students.


  • A book of comic strips is raising awareness of HIV/AIDS among young people in Cameroon, where over 7 per cent of sexually active people are estimated to be HIV positive. The Institute for Research and Study of Behaviours, with UNFPA support, printed 16,000 copies of a book, Sandrine Vivre Positif, about an HIV-positive young woman named Sandrine who becomes a community educator.


  • Awareness about HIV/AIDS in Benin was raised through radio and newspaper information campaigns, workshops and youth centres. Training for 85 peer educators focused on preventing HIV infection and unwanted pregnancy.


  • Bar patrons and sex workers are the audience for an innovative peer education pilot project in Mutare, Zimbabwe, where women trained as health educators enter bars and perform skits about STIs, HIV/AIDS, domestic violence and the use of condoms.


  • Long-distance drivers and sex workers in Guatemala received information through workplace presentations on the prevention of STIs including HIV. In 2001, the project produced 1,400 booklets, 600 audiocassettes and 1,800 posters promoting the use of condoms.


  • In four rural regions of Yemen, an HIV/AIDS campaign raised awareness among agricultural workers, religious leaders, midwives, agricultural extension staff and leaders of rural communities. Government institutions and NGOs participated in the campaign, which featured training workshops and materials including leaflets, pamphlets, posters and a reproductive health care guide with a chapter on agriculture and HIV/AIDS.

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