Mainstreaming HIV in Non-Health Sectors, and Promoting Gender Equality and Human Rights in the HIV Response.
South Africa has the largest HIV and AIDS epidemic in the world (UNAIDS Spectrum estimates 6.8 million people living with HIV). Many of them are young women between the ages of 15 and 24 – in the prime of their lives and at the beginning of their reproductive years.
In 2012, the government launched the National Strategic Plan for HIV, STIs and TB: 2012-2016 NSP) to enable it respond to this epidemic. Since then, the country has made great strides in responding to the epidemic, one of which is putting about 3 million people on ARVs, a fact that has substantially increased life expectancy – one of the key outcomes of the National Development Plan. However despite the many advances the country is still faced with high rates of stigma associated with HIV infection and the resultant discrimination.
As a co-sponsor of UNAIDS, UNDP supports the government of South Africa to respond to the HIV epidemic within the context of the UN Joint Team on AIDs, and line with South Africa’s priorities, the NSP and the Strategic Co-operation Framework (SCF). UNDP‘s strongest contributions to HIV outcomes come from action outside the health sector. In this regard, the HIV unit of the SA CO leads and convenes work on mainstreaming HIV and gender issues into development plans and process, governance of the HIV response and issues related to stigma and discrimination, human rights and gender.
In July 2016South Africa will be hosting the 21st International AIDS Conference in Durban in July 2016. UNDP, in conjunction with the UNJT will rally their support around South Africa in showcasing the successes and future directions of its AIDS response.
HIV is also a cross-cutting theme in the CO programmes. The HIV unit contributes to a multi-sectoral and sustainable response to HIV, STIs and TB, at all levels in line with South Africa’s National Strategic Plan for HIV, STIs and TB (2012-2016) and will support the development of a new NSP (2017-2021). UNDP leverages its core mandates in Democratic Governance, Capacity Development and Local Development to strengthen leadership and governance of HIV responses, at national and local levels. UNDP supports countries to create an enabling human rights environment, promote gender equality, and address HIV-related stigma and discrimination, promote access to justice, review and reform legislation, and enforce protective laws. UNDP‘s strongest contributions to health outcomes come from action outside the health sector.