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Guidelines for HIV/AIDS Interventions in Emergency settings
Monday 11 October 2004
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AFRICA: Guidelines for HIV/AIDS Interventions in Emergency settings

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

©  Inter-Agency Standing Committee

JOHANNESBURG, 20 May (PLUSNEWS) - With conflict and natural disaster fuelling the spread of HIV/AIDS in the developing world, the UN Inter Agency Standing Committee Task Force on HIV/AIDS in Emergency Settings (IASC-TF) has released a practical handbook on effective interventions in the field.

While earlier guidelines were developed by the UN's refugee agency (UNHCR), UNAIDS and the World Health Organisation (WHO) for crisis situations, they mainly concentrated on the health aspects of HIV and did not consider the impact of the pandemic on other sectors.

The book, titled: "Guidelines for HIV/AIDS Interventions in Emergency Settings", aims to assist individuals and organisations in their efforts to address the needs of people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS in emergency situations.

"Most of the humanitarian partners were developing their own tools without understanding the disease as a multi-sectoral problem. I would say that the issue of HIV/AIDS in emergency situations was mainly dealt with through prevention activities, to avoid it spreading," coordinator of the IASC-TF, Dr Michel Tailhades, told PlusNews.

With the guidelines, governments, NGOs and UN agencies are able to deliver a multi-sectoral response to HIV/AIDS during the early phase of emergency situations.

The book notes that a close and positive relationship with local authorities is fundamental to the success of the response, allowing the strengthening of local capacity for the future.

HIV/AIDS deepens existing vulnerabilities, undermining households, disrupting livelihoods and results in food insecurity, the book noted.

It suggested that emergency response projects give specific attention to protecting and promoting the food security of affected and at risk communities by combining food and agriculture relief interventions with food aid and nutrition education.

Designed for use in emergency settings at international, national and local levels, the guidelines are applicable in any crisis regardless of whether the prevalence of HIV/AIDS is high or low.

The IASC-TF are now developing a training programme based on the guidelines to ensure that people in the field hold a common idea and take appropriate actions.

Tailhades said field testing would be done in two or three countries that are experiencing emergency situations to see how the guidelines are implemented.

Access the complete guidelines online at: www.unfpa.org pdf Format


Recent AFRICA Reports
HIV/AIDS remains a big child killer,  8/Oct/04
IRIN PlusNews Weekly Issue 202, 8 October 2004,  8/Oct/04
HIV/AIDS care centre not being fully utilised,  8/Oct/04
Using theatre to encourage HIV testing,  6/Oct/04
Vaccine research struggles to find trial participants,  5/Oct/04
The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria
Youth against AIDS
Making A difference for Children Affected by AIDS
Children and AIDS International Non-Government Organisation Network (CAINN)

PlusNews does not take responsibility for info in links supplied.


PlusNews is produced under the banner of RHAIN, the Southern African Regional HIV/AIDS Information Network. RHAIN's members currently include:

  • IRIN
  • Inter Press Service (IPS)
  • Health Systems Trust
  • Health & Development Networks
  • GTZ/Afronets

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