The IASC guidelines for HIV/AIDS Interventions aim to assist individuals and organizations in their efforts to address the special needs of people living with HIV in humanitarian settings, and emphasize the minimum required actions needed to manage HIV/AIDS in the early phase of humanitarian settings. The guidelines are applicable in any emergency setting, whether the prevalence of HIV/AIDS is high or low.
The IASC guidelines for HIV/AIDS Interventions aim to assist individuals and organizations in their efforts to address the special needs of people living with HIV in emergency situations, and emphasize the minimum required actions needed to manage HIV/AIDS in the early phase of emergency situations. The guidelines are applicable in any emergency setting, whether the prevalence of HIV/AIDS is high or low.
This document consists of four parts:
1. Part one introduces the rationale for specific HIV/AIDS interventions in complex emergencies
2. Part two describes the context of addressing HIV/AIDS in emergency settings, such as risk of transmission, people living with HIV, preparedness and response and groups at risk
3. Part three provides basic principles to follow when working on HIV/AIDS issues and a matrix for partnership guidance on how to respond to HIV/AIDS in emergencies. The Matrix is divided into three parts: emergency preparedness, minimum response, and comprehensive response
4. Part four describes specific guidelines on intervention in the sector of coordination
AIDS kills young adults, especially women, who are the backbone of their families and communities. It leaves behind orphans in large numbers with few prospects for a healthy future. Entire communities are collapsing under the strain of caring for the ill while maintaining productive livelihoods. Problems in governance, lack of appropriate agricultural policies and pervasiveness of poverty all contribute towards compounding the effects of the severe drought.
The IASC called for a concerted effort by the affected governments, donor governments and humanitarian and development agencies to: 1. Encourage leaders to adopt policies and strategies for the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS that reach all segments of the population with particular focus on vulnerable groups, women, refugees and internally displaced persons 2. Raise awareness of the links between HIV/AIDS epidemic and famine 3. Encourage access to HIV/AIDS treatment, including anti-retroviral drugs for those infected with HIV, as feasible 4. Promote the human rights of people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS including through strategies to combat stigma and discrimination 5. Consider incentives to encourage essential personnel to work in area of HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention, including salary supplements and access to HIV transmission prevention methods and AIDS care 6. Support government policies that encourage good governance, sound agricultural approaches and equitable sustainable development
The factors contributing to the crisis in Southern Africa are numerous and vary from country to country. They include: drought, floods, disruptions to commercial farming, depletion of strategic grain reserves, poor economic performance, foreign exchange shortages and delays in the timely importation of maize. Inadequate food supply and consumption places an even greater strain on those affected by HIV/AIDS and the family members struggling to care for them. HIV/AIDS increases household vulnerability to food insecurity by disproportionately affecting working age people and reduces the amount and quality of land cultivated as well as incomes and purchasing power for those employed in other sectors. It also adds to the disease burden (tuberculosis, cholera and others) that the population faces along with the food insecurity.
In their statement, the IASC express their commitment to work with affected Governments and regional partners on multi-sectoral assessments of needs, the design of appropriate response strategies and in ensuring effective coordination of all interventions including logistics related to the delivery of urgently needed relief cargo.