Press Release

EC and UNFPA to Boost Zimbabwe's HIV Prevention Efforts

10 January 2007
Author: UNFPA

HARARE, Zimbabwe — The European Commission and UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, have committed 5.66 million euros to support the behavioural change component of Zimbabwe’s new national strategic plan on HIV and AIDS.

The new grant will be used over three years to implement Zimbabwe’s new National Behavioural Change Strategy, developed under the leadership of Zimbabwe’s National AIDS Council. It will do so by supporting the development of locally owned district behavioural change responses in 10 of the country’s districts.

Building on thorough epidemiological and social science review processes, the new national strategy focuses on key drivers of the HIV epidemic, such as multiple concurrent partnerships, and addresses underlying factors for vulnerability, in particular gender roles and relations. The strategy also promotes reduced gender imbalances and increased male responsibility.

As part of the grant, UNFPA will support expanded female condom promotion, while UNICEF will assist in training of teachers in HIV life-skills education and gender issues.

The new EC-UNFPA grant comes at a time when HIV prevalence has already started to decline in Zimbabwe, but still stands at 18.1 per cent among the sexually active population aged 15-49. Behavioural change, including reduction in number of sexual partners and increased condom use, has contributed significantly to that decline. Both aspects will be in the centre of the scaled up support.

* * *

UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, is an international development agency that promotes the right of every woman, man and child to enjoy a life of health and equal opportunity. UNFPA supports countries in using population data for policies and programmes to reduce poverty and to ensure that every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, every young person is free of HIV/AIDS, and every girl and woman is treated with dignity and respect.

UNFPA – because everyone counts.

Contact Information:

Harare, Zimbabwe: Clemens Benedikt, tel: 263 (4) 792681, clemens.benedikt@undp.org

Pretoria, S. Africa: George Ngwa, Tel: 27 72 617 1032, ngwa@unfpa.org

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