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Considerable progress has been made in the areas of UNFPA’s mandate within the HIV response in the region over the past five years. However, the extent of progress and the scale of UNFPA’s contribution vary among countries.

In several countries, UNFPA has made substantial contributions to ensuring condom supply, demand generation and coordination at national level.

Regional action has contributed through capacity development of national partners in supply, demand and management.

UNFPA works in these key areas:

  • Promoting condom use by increasing the demand for them and ensuring availability and accessibility, as well as quality assurance
  • Promoting comprehensive sexuality education (CSE), including provision of information and youth-friendly services, to increase the demand for HIV services among young people and adults in the region
  • Working with key populations affected by HIV, with a particular focus on providing information and health services to sex workers
  • Strengthening SRH and HIV policies and strategies to integrate services via the SRHR and HIV Linkages Project in Southern Africa, which has made significant progress
  • The UNFPA ESA Regional Office has contributed to improving the evidence-base for HIV prevention programming in the region, as well as the development and review of national HIV prevention plans and strategies in a range of countries
  • Generating evidence for advocacy purposes, to ensure that no one is left behind in the response

Challenges remaining

Despite this progress, the majority of countries have not achieved universal access to HIV prevention.

UNFPA is committed to addressing sexual transmission of HIV through evidence-based combination prevention interventions. This means a strong focus on young people, women and key populations as well as advancing human rights and gender equality within the HIV response.

The goal of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030, to which UNFPA is committed, requires that we fast track the response and that we leave no one behind – including people living with disabilities, people living with HIV, and those in humanitarian settings. 

This is why the primary focus is on combination prevention, which includes behaviour change communication, HIV counselling and testing, condom promotion and distribution, and community mobilization.

UNFPA will also continue the work of integrating HIV and sexual and reproductive health services. This is to ensure that the HIV and sexual and reproductive health needs of people living with HIV, and those at higher risk of infection, are met and that our efforts achieve positive outcomes in addressing both HIV and sexual and reproductive health.