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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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Emergency and Conflict Situations

It is clear that social and political conflicts constitute an important aggravating factor in the spread of the epidemic. STIs and HIV spread faster in communities where there is instability, war and poverty. In these settings the disintegration of family life and social relations leads to the breakdown of social norms and values. When social and cultural values no longer guide human behaviour, social systems are disrupted and infrastructures break down.

In a search for survival, disease prevention, in general, and HIV/STI prevention, in particular, become a remote preoccupation, especially among women and youth, the most vulnerable segments of the population.

UNFPA has played an expanded role in emergency and conflict situations. In such situations, targeted interventions will be critical, as it cannot be assumed that all individuals have the same level of information, the same level of knowledge of the problems, and the same protective skills.

Although acknowledging that the survival needs of shelter, water and essential medical care must first be met, UNFPA can bring a distinct comparative advantage in HIV prevention to the international partnership, which involves national Governments, United Nations organizations and agencies, NGOs and local communities.

UNFPA’s focus would continue to be on reducing the transmission of HIV through: the use of universal precautions; the provision of free condoms (male and female); and a designated Minimum Initial Service Package (MISP) — a cluster of reproductive health services intended to meet the minimum requirements in an emergency situation — with the expectation that comprehensive services will be provided as soon as the situation permits.

Recommended intervention package

As part of the support to reproductive health, the Fund’s specific assistance would continue to include the following:

  • The provision of emergency reproductive health kits (supplies and equipment) to treat the physical consequences of sexual violence, including the diagnosis and treatment of STIs;

  • The provision, as much as possible, of HIV VCT services as part of the package to help individuals make informed choices and decisions about safer sex and testing for HIV;

  • Support for the training of service providers to diagnose and treat curable STIs, including the provision of guidelines and protocols for case management and the provision of STI drugs;

  • Support for the development and implementation of HIV/STI- and pregnancy-prevention IEC/BCC activities, with targeted communication interventions in these settings; and

  • An assessment of reproductive health commodities needs, including male and female condoms, as part of the overall reproductive health needs assessment.

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