Foundations of HIV and AIDS activities in UNAMID
HIV and AIDS interventions in peace keeping operations are supported by the UNSCR 1308 (17th July 2000) and the UNSCR 1983 (June 2011) to prevent the transmission of HIV among peacekeepers and surrounding communities by means of interventions that raise the level of awareness on HIV prevention. In addition, there was the UN General Assembly Special Session on HIV and AIDS on 27 June 2001: The UN GA special session on HIV and AIDS adopted a declaration of commitment which calls on all United Nations agencies, regional and international organizations, as well as non-governmental organizations involved with the provision and delivery of international assistance to countries and regions affected by conflicts, humanitarian crises or natural disasters, to incorporate as a matter of urgency HIV and AIDS prevention, care and awareness elements into their plans and programmes and provide HIV and AIDS awareness and training to their personnel.”
Furthermore, in June 2016, the UN adopted the Political Declaration on Ending AIDS by 2030. This is in line with the UN Sustainable Goal of Development to end the epidemic by 2030. UNAMID as part of the Secretariat will endeavor to contribute significantly to this Goal through HIV prevention mission-wide. HAU will also provide the necessary technical support to the UNCT and UNAIDS to enable them to fast-track HIV targets in Darfur to ensure access to HIV testing to 90% of the Darfuri population, with 90% of those who tested HIV-positive will also have access to antiretroviral (ARV) treatment, and 90% of those who are under ARV treatment will have viral load suppression by 2020.
Vision of HIV and AIDS Unit in UNAMID
A mission that has made a significant contribution in the response against HIV and AIDS
To make accessible HIV prevention in the form of HIV and AIDS related services to all mission personnel such as awareness-raising, peer education, Voluntary Confidential Counseling and Testing (VCCT), condom programming, and distribution of information, education, and communication (IEC) materials.
The team of HIV and AIDS Unit
Since April 2015, the team of HIV and AIDS Unit has had 7 staff members which include, the Head Quarters, comprising of the Chief HIV and AIDS Adviser, and the Team Assistant. In addition, there is also a HIV/AIDS Officer (NPO) in each sector. Prior to the downsizing of staff capacity, HAU had had 17 staff members. The downsizing of the HIV/AIDS Unit staffing capacity has led to the team to focus its activities internally among peacekeepers and to handover the outreach activities to the UNCT in Darfur.
- HIV and AIDS induction sessions to all new mission personnel.
- HIV and AIDS capacity building trainings including Awareness on the HIV in the Workplace Program, peer education and VCCT
- HIV Voluntary Confidential Counselling and Testing (VCCT) for mission personnel.
- Condom Programming
- Access to information through IEC materials production and distribution or dissemination
- Monitoring of HIV and AIDS workplace policy implementation within the mission (particularly the 10 minimum standards of UN system-wide HIV in the Workplace Program)
Annual Achievements: January – December 2016
Throughout 2016, HAU has been able to deliver the expected impact based on the outcomes of activities performed. Therefore, it can be deduced that it has been able to contribute to the UNAMID strategic priority by ensuring safety of humanitarian personnel in terms of HIV transmission and indirectly help them address HIV/AIDS cross-cutting issues in the IDP camps and local communities through training particularly on Gender and HIV in conflict situations.
- No. of personnel provided with sensitization training sessions and campaigns:
- Sensitized personnel = 18,498 (17,263 males and 1235 females) including 88 trained in Peer Education comprising 68 male and 22 female certified peer educators)
The provision of sensitization training is in compliance with the three of the Ten Minimum Standards of the UN system-wide HIV in the workplace program namely, access to information about UN policies and benefits relating to HIV; information about preventing transmission of HIV and accessing services; and learning and training activities on stigma and discrimination which covers the essential topic on confidentiality of personal information. Other training topics also cover other minimum standards such as managerial commitment, rapid access to Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) kits, first aid using universal precautions and access to insurance covering HIV-related expenses.
- No. of personnel who have availed themselves of HIV services in the sectors:
- VCCT = 3,212 (2,889 males and 323 females)
Access to VCCT services is one of the 10 minimum standards of the HIV in the Workplace Program. Another minimum standard being upheld through VCCT is providing access to confidential handling of personal information.
- Condoms= 164,633 (157,866 male and 6,767 female condoms)
Access to male and female condoms is ensured through dispensing these commodities in strategic locations such inside the ablutions, during VCCT, during training sessions and in the HAU offices in all UNAMID sectors. Further to ensuring access, HAU also employs strategic measures increase effectiveness of utilization as well as to minimize wastage through inclusion of condom demos in the training and counseling sessions, distribution of IEC materials including posters on condom use, and ensuring an informed decision on the part of the client on whether to opt for condom use instead of abstinence or being faithful as personal choices.
- EC materials = 48,057
The distribution of IEC materials and condoms ensures that the mission covers a wide array of minimum standards including access to information on preventing transmission of HIV and accessing services, stigma and discrimination, as well as access to male and female condoms.
The World AIDS Day events in the sectors were essentially a form of awareness-raising campaigns participated in by approximately 2,000 mission personnel whose level of awareness about HIV prevention was increased through their immersion to various messages derived from the speeches, dramas, presentations, ceremonies and social media during the events held mission-wide.
The use of electronic pop-up messages to disseminate preventive and promotive messages on HIV and AIDS was done in connection to World AIDS Day in which case approximately 5,000 personnel who have access to the UNAMID computer network were able to receive these messages via their computer screen in the workplace.
- No. of relevant partnership forums attended = 58
There has been sustained strong collaboration with UNCT to enhance their capacity to combat HIV/AIDS in Darfur. HAU is no longer mandated to implement external activities even in conjunction with substantive partners and has been instructed by NYHQ to handover external tasks to UNCT. In this regard, UNAMID will provide technical support to UNAIDS and UNCT in their efforts to mobilize resources including fund-raising and access to Global Fund resources to accelerate HIV testing and other interventions in Darfur.
UNAMID HAU has been coordinating with UNAIDS based in Khartoum, Sudan as well as with the RC Office in Sudan to address the gaps in the handover process of external tasks to UNCT in Darfur as a result of UNAMID’s new strategic priority which requires the HIV and AIDS Unit to focus internally on interventions intended for the mission personnel. A Concept Note to mobilize resources for acceleration of HIV activities in Darfur has been put on hold pending the review of the National AIDS Strategic Plan, the review of UNAIDS comprehensive program, and the WHO HIV/AIDS policy.
UNAMID can contribute to the global goal of eradication of HIV/AIDS epidemic by 2030 by having an effective and efficient HIV in the Workplace Programme mission-wide. This entails having the 10 minimum standards of the UN HIV in the Workplace policy in place. To do so, this will require managerial commitment to have a viable HIV/AIDS program in the mission.
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| World AIDS Day 2015
| World AIDS Day 2016