World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


UN: African countries fight HIV/AIDS boosted

UN agencies boost efforts to help African countries fight HIV/AIDS

As Africa struggles with 30 million of the world's 42 million people living with HIV/AIDS, United Nations agencies are strengthening their efforts to help the continent stop the pandemic from devastating the vulnerable populations in the cities, the armed forces and young people.

A new handbook containing guidelines on how to tackle the pandemic in cities is set to give local authorities a new strategy to help AIDS sufferers across sub-Saharan Africa, according to the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT).

The booklet warns that HIV/AIDS is high in cities because of high population density, the presence of transportation hubs, and the existence of large groups of vulnerable persons including sex workers, unemployed youths, migrant labour and drug users.

Mayors, councillors and private sector chief executives need to be personally committed in order to generate an effective response as cities will see decreases in labour productivity, lower capacity of users to pay for services, greater household vulnerability and poverty, the handbook says.

The handbook - published by the World Bank in collaboration with UN-HABITAT, the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the Alliance of Mayors and Municipal Leaders on HIV/AIDS in Africa (AMICAALL) and the Cities Alliance - was launched at the conference of the Organization of African First Ladies Against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA). The Conference is being held alongside the 13th International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) in Africa (ICASA) running through Friday in Nairobi, Kenya.

Meanwhile, the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) today released the first of a series of case studies on armed forces and their critical role in fighting HIV/AIDS worldwide. The study, entitled "Fighting AIDS: HIV/AIDS prevention and care among armed forces and UN peacekeepers in Eritrea," was launched during a press conference in Nairobi.

The study highlights HIV/AIDS prevention efforts by uniformed personnel in Eritrea, particularly efforts made by the Eritrean Defence Force (EDF) and UN Mission to Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE). It says if equipped with the right information, knowledge and tools, the military can achieve lower HIV prevalence rates than the national average. Soldiers can also become important agents for behavioural change within the army and beyond.

Uniformed services, including peacekeepers, frequently rank among the population groups most affected by STIs, including HIV. Military personnel are two to five times more likely to contract STIs than the civilian population and this risk increases significantly during conflict.

Also participating at the ICASA meeting, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) discussed the "Strategic Framework for the Prevention and Control of HIV/AIDS and STIs within Somali Populations," developed in 2003 following an eight-month participatory process among representatives from Somali communities and authorities, civil society, international and local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and UN agencies, including UNICEF.

"The Strategic Framework provides a joint vision that has been endorsed by Somali leaders, community groups and humanitarian agencies working at all levels and all of the participants in the process have jointly pledged to support strategic interventions through their respective programmes," UNICEF Somalia Representative Jesper Morch said yesterday.

UNICEF asserts that focus on the Strategic Framework and collective prevention and control actions can ensure that HIV/AIDS does not spiral out of control in Somalia. However, a crucial factor in the success of these programmes is the commitment of the donor community in providing adequate and sustainable funding. UNICEF said it intends to target and mobilize the youth on a large scale, as they are both the most vulnerable group.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Swing States: Gordon Campbell On Why The US Needs MMP

After the bizarre events this week in Helsinki, the world will be hoping and praying that the US midterm elections in November can put a restraining brake on the presidency of Donald Trump. This may happen, but there’s a highly undemocratic reason why such hopes may be frustrated. More>>


putin, trump scalpGordon Campbell: On The White House Romance With Russia

Tough on Europe over trade, at the G-7. Tough on Europe over defence, at NATO. And utterly smitten as usual by Vladimir Putin at the Helsinki summit. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On This Week’s NATO Debacle

For someone routinely cast as a clown presiding over an administration in chaos, Donald Trump has been very consistent about his agenda, and remarkably successful in achieving it, in the short term at least. More>>


NZ Law Society: Rule Of Law Threatened In Nauru

“The recently enacted Administration of Justice Act 2018 is another clear sign of the deterioration of civil rights in Nauru,” the Law Society’s Rule of Law Committee convenor Austin Forbes QC says. More>>


'Fixing' Family Separation: Executive Order Imprisons Families Indefinitely

Amnesty: President Trump signed an executive order today mandating for children to stay with their parents in detention while their asylum claims are processed. More>>


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC