The purpose of this section is to provide staff, particularly field staff, with concise and useful information in supporting countries in their response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
The Overview is intended to summarize the importance of prevention in combating the HIV/AIDS pandemic and baseline strategies for UNFPA programme response at the country level. Upcoming briefs will focus on substantive areas including prevention of HIV infection in mothers and its transmission to their children, young people, condom programming, gender, emergency situations, population policy, and population based data. more >>
Within the Fund's mandate for HIV prevention, UNFPA's strategic focus is in three core areas: HIV prevention among young people, HIV prevention among pregnant women and comprehensive condom programming. In line with this strategic focus, this programme brief outlines the importance of and actions for the prevention of HIV infection in pregnant women, which in turn prevents transmission of HIV to their infants and partners. UNFPA's primary goal in this area is to ensure that HIV prevention among pregnant women remain high on the political agenda and as a priority for action. more >>
Young people are the 'window of hope' in changing the course of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Preventing HIV infections among them is vital. Of the 40 million people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide, one third are aged 15-24 years and roughly half were infected during their youth1 . This makes it imperative that young people be at the center of prevention actions, both in focus and in involvement, to ultimately halt the pandemic. As many behavioural lifestyles are formed during the early adolescent years, and as acquisition of HIV in young people is predominantly through sexual activities, this period in life provides the opportune time to positively influence behaviours, choices and lifestyles that will hopefully last into adulthood. more >>
Gender dynamics are understood as the different roles, expectations, identities, needs, opportunities and obstacles that society assigns to women and men based on sex. Girls and boys, women and men, have the same rights, potential and capacities; but discrimination against girls and women based on socio-cultural norms often relegates them to lower status and value. This often places them at considerable disadvantages in terms of their access to resources and goods, decision-making power, choices, and opportunities across all spheres of life. more >>
Voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) for HIV allows individuals to know their HIV status and serves as the gateway for both HIV prevention and for early access to treatment, care and support. Knowing ones status provides for the choice to - for those who are negative, remain negative; and for those who are positive, seek access to treatment, care and support, and to reduce the risk of HIV transmission to future children and partners. more >>
Condoms are universally recognized as one of the most effective ways to prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Condom programming is an integral component of a range of HIV prevention strategies that includes informed, responsible and safer sexual behaviour through voluntary abstinence, delayed age of onset of sexual activity, fidelity, and condom use. more >>
Widespread population displacement, whether caused by war or natural disaster, can severely undermine access to reproductive health information and services at the same time as it increases vulnerability to HIV. The specific interventions adopted for provision of STI and HIV prevention, treatment and care must vary according to the circumstances of the emergency and depend on access to the populations at risk.
This brief describes how the nature of a particular epidemic and the dynamic environment in which it thrives must be understood and incorporated into programming to ensure effectiveness. Understanding the epidemic in specific countries and communities – its patterns and trends, and the driving forces behind it from an economic, social, cultural and behavioral perspective will help define the population groups at risk of infection and the issues that preventive actions need to address in a more focused manner. There is a caveat, however, in interpreting and using prevalence or incidence rates. For example, it is not so much national prevalence rates that should influence preventive actions but rather the rates within different settings and population groups in any given community, country or region and the tell-tale trends behind them. Together they provide better indicators for the course of the epidemic and the type of preventive interventions required to quell its progression.
This brief looks into the benefits of applying our skills and knowledge in the area of 'population and development' to strengthen our HIV prevention efforts. Population and development data and analysis can play an important role in better understanding of the dynamics of a given HIV/AIDS epidemic and in presenting socio-economic characteristics of groups at risk of infection. Likewise, population and development frameworks and strategies can also be adapted for HIV/AIDS. Thus utilizing such resources has the potential to better enable more effective HIV prevention programming, advocacy, and policy dialogue; as well as reinforcing HIV/AIDS' linkage with population dynamics such as life expectancy, economic growth and poverty.