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Preventing HIV Infection
Strategic Guidance
on HIV/AIDS Prevention
Purpose of the Guidance Note
Strategic Orientation for UNFPA Action
Integrating HIV/AIDS Issues into the Country Programming Process
Country Situations
Core Support
Creating an Enabling Environment for HIV Prevention
Advances in New Technologies and Issues
The Way Forward
ICPD+5 Goals
Regional HIV/AIDS Statistics
Country Situations

Low-Prevalence Situations
High-Prevalence and Rapidly Emerging Situations
Emergency and Conflict Situations

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High-Prevalence and Rapidly Emerging Situations

While the diversity of HIV/AIDS epidemics worldwide is striking, in over 16 sub-Saharan African countries, HIV prevalence rates in the general adult population are over 10 per cent. For sub-Saharan Africa many countries have generalized epidemics.

Increasingly, in countries in Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, which had previously recorded low rates of HIV infections are now seeing rapid increases in infection rates – indicating that situations that may appear unthreatening can very quickly and unexpectedly emerge into a full-scale epidemic.

In such situations it becomes more important for UNFPA to strategically prioritize the focus of its preventive efforts. While less need may exist in the area of support to development of HIV-related policies and strategic plans and to in-depth analysis of the situation (as these may already exist), clearly it would be important for UNFPA to deepen the wider public’s knowledge and understanding of the determinants and impact of the epidemic; further promote attitudinal and behavioural change; and in collaboration with other partners address through advocacy issues related to stigma, discrimination, treatment, care and support.

Where strategic decisions have to be taken in countries with high prevalence, UNFPA should give prioirity to reducing the number of new infections among young people. Young people are the window of opportunity. Even in countries worst affected by HIV/AIDS, a significant majority of people are not infected and knowing that most infections occur among young people and during adolescence, focusing on this group becomes an effective and critical strategy.

A combined focus on preventing infection in young people through the establishment and/or up scaling of comprehensive and sustained adolescent and youth reproductive and sexual health programmes complemented by broader and more encompassing HIV prevention efforts would be the best strategic approach for UNFPA.

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