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HOME: POPULATION ISSUES: PREVENTING HIV INFECTION: UNFPA Response 2003
Preventing HIV Infection
UNFPA Response 2003
Strategy for Prevention
Country Commitments
Regional Response
Global Action
Conclusion: Challenges
Statements Guiding UNFPA in HIV Prevention

This section of the web, UNFPA Response 2003, was last updated in December 2003.

Preventing HIV Infection, Promoting Reproductive Health

UNFPA Response 2003

Previously known as AIDS Update, this is the 12th annual publication to provide information about actions taken by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, to prevent HIV infection.

UNFPA has worked to improve reproductive health for more than 30 years; never has the need been more urgent. UNFPA is at the forefront of international prevention efforts, integrating HIV prevention throughout all reproductive health services. We work with countries, at their request, to plan and implement programmes that provide life-saving information and services.

Young people, especially if poor, are at great risk: nearly half of all new infections occur between the ages of 15 and 24. UNFPA supports programmes that provide the knowledge, skills and services young people need in order to protect their reproductive health and prevent HIV infection. Such programmes also strive to build a supportive environment free of stigma and discrimination. Moreover, ending the epidemic requires caring adults to arm adolescents against infection—through education, participation and decision-making that delays the start of sexual activity and keeps girls in school.

For UNFPA, 2002 represented a year of increasing internal commitment and focused action, and acceptance of greater responsibility and accountability for ensuring a strong and coordinated system-wide response to HIV/AIDS. Highlights of our many HIV prevention activities at the global, regional and country levels include:

  • Establishing a dedicated HIV/AIDS branch within the UNFPA structure;

  • Disseminating institutional guidelines on HIV prevention to all staff, and application of the strategy in several regions;

  • Designation as the convening agency for the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) on HIV/AIDS issues pertaining to young people and to condom programming;

  • Establishing a position dedicated to HIV prevention programming on each regional UNFPA Country Technical Services Team (CST);

  • Completing an internal independent evaluation of UNFPA’s thematic work on HIV/AIDS, and participating in the five-year evaluation of UNAIDS.

UNFPA has a mandate to prevent sexually transmitted infections of all kinds and to promote reproductive rights. Our HIV prevention efforts are based on this mandate. We have found ways to work in diverse social, cultural and religious settings, based on decades of addressing sensitive issues that cut across many different sectors. This experience is directly relevant to the fight against HIV/AIDS. We bring this experience to our partnerships in UNAIDS and with governments and civil society, working together to bridge any differences and provide an ever more effective response. Partnerships are a priority upon which progress depends.

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