The aim of the training is to ensure that all staff members go through an orientation programme on HIV/AIDS and that they are knowledgeable in the basics on HIV/AIDS, prevention, care, treatment; UN policies; effects of HIV in the world/country; living in a world with HIV as outlined in the UN booklet, including elimination of stigma and discrimination
It’s clear that the HIV epidemic the world faces today is not the same as when it peaked in 1996. The number of people living with HIV globally is now at 33.4 million and although 2.7 million people became newly infected with HIV in 2008, good news is that this is a decrease by 17% over the last eight years.
There have been many successes in the AIDS response in recent times including increases in HIV treatment coverage and prevention of mother-to-child transmission services, and an indication of decline in HIV incidence in some regions. However, at the moment globally five people are becoming infected with HIV for every two people accessing treatment.
It is therefore critical that the way we respond keeps pace with and overtakes the epidemic if we are to see a real change in people’s lives, aspirations and futures.
In Kenya HIV has spread beyond the high risk population groups and efforts to halt the epidemic are nationwide with particular focus among groups with prevailing vulnerability. The current adult prevalence rates stand at 7.1%.
In April 2003, a learning strategy to help the UN system develop the competence of its staff on HIV/AIDS was approved by the Committee of Co-sponsoring Organizations of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). The goals of this strategy are:
- To develop the knowledge and competence of the UN and its staff so that they are able to best support national responses to HIV/AIDS; and
- To ensure that all UN staff members are able to make informed decisions to protect themselves from HIV and, if they are infected or affected by HIV, to ensure that they know where to turn for the best possible care and treatment. This includes ensuring that staff members fully understand the UN’s HIV/AIDS workplace policies on eliminating stigma and discrimination against those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.
In Kenya, these trainings to date have been extended to the larger family of the UN staff members and partners and spouses and children of the same have subsequently received trainings on HIV/AIDS. They have also been carried out to UN members of staff working in other duty stations out of Nairobi.