Reducing the burden of HIV/AIDS in the Region remains one of WHO’s most important objectives. WHO worked closely with countries and partners to strengthen surveillance systems, expand coverage of risk reduction activities among vulnerable groups, and increase access to AIDS care, including antiretroviral treatment.
Since the endorsement of the goal of “Universal Access for HIV Prevention, Treatment, Care and Support by 2010” by all heads of state during the United Nations Assembly in New York in September 2005, WHO is committed to support its Member States as they move towards this goal.
The Regional Office has adopted and will follow the five strategic directions of the WHO framework for Universal Access:
- Enabling people to know their HIV status through confidential HIV testing and counselling , by focusing on priority interventions such as voluntary, family and provider-initiated testing and counselling and infant HIV diagnosis.
- Maximizing the health sector's contribution to HIV prevention by focusing on priority interventions such as prevention of mother-to-child transmission, prevention of sexual transmission, particularly among those with high risk behaviour (e.g. sex workers and their clients), prevention of HIV transmission through injecting drug use, prevention of transmission by people knowing their HIV+ status and prevention of any transmission in the health care setting.
- Accelerating the scale up of HIV/AIDS treatment and care by focusing on antiretroviral therapy for the management of paediatric and adult HIV/AIDS; prevention and management of opportunistic infections, and other HIV-related conditions and co-morbidities; care, including nutrition, palliative care and end-of-life care and linking HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis services.
- Investing in strategic information to guide a more effective response by focusing on strengthening epidemiological surveillance, including behavioural surveillance of sexually transmitted infections (STI) and HIV/AIDS; monitoring of HIV drug resistance of antiretroviral therapy programmes and monitoring and evaluation of the health sector's response towards universal access in order to endure that populations at increased risk of HIV and STI have access to prevention information and commodities such as condoms and syringes, and timely diagnosis and treatment.
- Strengthening and expanding health systems including focusing on leadership and stewardship, updating national strategies planning and management, procurement and supply management, laboratory strengthening, human resources development and management and strategies for sustainable financing.