UNAIDS is a leader in the global AIDS response, with the unique ability to address HIV from multiple perspectives, and draw on the experience and expertise of its 11 cosponsors.
UNAIDS partners with the UN system, governments, people living with HIV, civil society, the private sector, financing institutions, academia, science, the media and influential public figures. At the country level, UNAIDS promotes coherent action to support an effective national AIDS response. UNAIDS was ‘Delivering as One’ a decade before the UN reform was piloted, and works to increase coordination and collaboration at all levels.
The UNAIDS vision has fostered unity of purpose and a focus on results:
- “Getting to zero” – zero new HIV infections, zero AIDS-related deaths, zero stigma and discrimination – has
been adopted by political leaders and activists across the globe.
- UNAIDS seeks to revolutionize HIV prevention, catalyze the next phase of treatment and advance human
rights and gender equality.
- Clear deliverables, time-bound targets and a focus on countries with the highest potential for impact are
changing the trajectory of the global HIV epidemic.
Why is this partnership important?
UNAIDS response to AIDS has been unique – in the social movement that drives it; in the resources it has mobilised; in the partnerships between science, politics, activists, lawmakers, communities, and the public and private sector; in its effective and innovative public policy approaches; and, most importantly, in the impact it has had on delivering health, welfare and human dignity to millions of people.
How will this Partnership contribute to the sustainable development of Small Island Developing States?
SIDS are at a crossroads of a health crisis with evidence showing poor sexual health outcomes in a number of areas, including high rates of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), sexual and gender-based violence, teen pregnancy and unintended pregnancy, plus high rates of TB and Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).
With a large youth population across SIDS, studies have found that young people are particularly at risk as they are more likely to lack control over their sexual and reproductive health.
• Low rates of condom use among youth have led to high rates of STIs, including chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis. STI infections can have complications on fertility and newborn babies and also increase the risk of HIV transmission.
• Adolescent pregnancy is common with many countries and territories exceed the world average of 49 births per 1,000 females aged 15–19 years. In many Caribbean countries, for example, multiple adolescent pregnancies occur among girls due, in part, to a lack of access to sexual and reproductive health services.
Gender-based violence and limited access to health care and education, coupled with systems and policies that do not address the needs of young people, are obstacles that block adolescent girls and young women from across SIDS from being able to protect themselves against HIV, particularly as they transition into adulthood.
• Evidence shows, for example, up to 80% of women in some Pacific Island countries and territories have experienced gender-based violence, which can include physical and sexual assault. Gender-based violence and forced sex has direct and indirect implications on both the victim and the perpetrator’s risk of infection with HIV and other STIs.
Health systems across SIDS are being stretched to breaking point with high rates of TB and NCDs, including heart disease, obesity and diabetes. Research shows HIV and NCDs share many commonalities – both are chronic and preventable; both require a response that goes beyond the health sector. UNAIDS is in a key position to assist SIDS by drawing from the gains and experiences made in the AIDS response and apply this model of successful partnerships to address these multiple intersecting health issues presented by NCDs.
UNAIDS partnership model has been the catalyst for innovation in the way we foster and develop cutting edge prevention, treatment and care programmes for key populations living with and at risk of HIV. These public, private and community partnerships have led to a declining number of new HIV infections and AIDS related deaths globally, as well as greater awareness of sexual health practice, gender equality and human rights.