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UNESCO Intersectoral Platform: HIV and AIDS

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UNESCO Intersectoral Platform: <b>HIV and AIDS</b>
  • © UNESCO

UNESCO's HIV/AIDS portal is accessible at the following address:www.unesco.org/aids

UNESCO is committed to contributing to the achievement of the MDG target on HIV and AIDS – namely, to halt the epidemic and have begun to reverse it by 2015. To this end, it is supporting efforts towards universal access by 2010 to comprehensive HIV prevention programmes, treatment, care and support. UNESCO is well placed in the United Nations system to address the complex challenges of this epidemic through a holistic approach involving all UNESCO sectors. UNESCO will continue to support improved coordination and harmonization, especially at the country level where the battle against HIV and AIDS constitutes a high-priority component of country programming, often also involving joint programme efforts by several United Nations entities and other partners.

The “HIV and AIDS” intersectoral platform involves substantial contributions from all five Major Programmes. UNESCO’s global coordination is based within the Education Sector. It has both an oversight function for all of UNESCO’s intersectoral work on HIV and AIDS and leads the Education Sector’s own response. The Global Coordinator represents all of UNESCO’s Sectors at UNAIDS meetings and has responsibility for reporting back to UNAIDS co-sponsors on agreed areas of work and outcomes. A monthly intersectoral AIDS Consultative Group brings all sectors and relevant services into regular dialogue. The graph below illustrates the components of UNESCO’s intersectoral work on HIV and AIDS (source: 2007 UNESCO Strategy on HIV and AIDS).

Four regional HIV and AIDS advisers – based at the UNAIDS team in Johannesburg and the others to be based in UNESCO regional and cluster offices in Bangkok, Moscow, and Santiago – will have a major role in developing programming within UNESCO’s strategy. This will include intersectoral programming, articulating and communicating UNESCO’s role and impact in HIV and AIDS work, generating further resources to support this work, and supporting national colleagues and partners.

UNESCO works closely with the UNAIDS Co-sponsors, which define commonly agreed outcomes and an agreed division of labour and ensure harmonized action at the country level. The areas in which
UNESCO plays a “lead” or “main partner role” are:

  • prevention for young people in educational institutions (lead role);
  • HIV and AIDS governance and mainstreaming (main partner role);
  • Strategic planning and human resource development (main partner role);
  • HIV and AIDS workplace policies (main partner role);
  • provision of HIV information and education in non-formal settings (main partner role);
  • overall monitoring and evaluation (main partner role);
    dietary and nutritional support on HIV and AIDS (main partner role);
  • addressing HIV among displaced populations (main partner role); and
  • strategic information sharing and accountability (main partner role).

UNESCO receives for its activities a significant amount of extrabudgetary funds through the Unified Budget and Workplan (UBW) of UNAIDS. This funding already requires intersectoral financial and narrative reporting that can be used to contribute to the work of the intersectoral platform on HIV and AIDS. While the Education Sector receives the largest percentage of the UBW funding, nearly 40%, funding is also allocated to the other Sectors who undertake HIV/AIDS related activities.

HIV and AIDS is a priority for UNESCO and among the core priorities of the Education Sector (along with LIFE and TTISSA), in recognition of the fact that EFA is unachievable without addressing the impact of HIV and AIDS. UNESCO’s main focus is on EDUCAIDS, the UNESCO-led UNAIDS Global Initiative on Education and HIV and AIDS, which acknowledges the importance of comprehensive education sector engagement as part of the national response to HIV and AIDS. Through EDUCAIDS, UNESCO and its partners support countries to implement comprehensive, scaled-up educational programmes on HIV and AIDS that cover: content, curriculum and learning materials; educator training and support; policy management and systems; and that ensure quality and the full utilization of approaches and entry points, through both formal and non-formal education. Its aims are promoted through greater collaboration among UNAIDS co-sponsors and key stakeholders, including national authorities, ministries (education, social welfare, health, labour and others), bilateral agencies and civil society groups at the country level. The Education Sector prioritizes national education sector responses to HIV and AIDS at all levels, through all modalities and across the continuum from prevention to treatment, care and support as part of United Nations-wide efforts to move towards universal access to prevention programmes, treatment, care and support, and as indicated in the UNAIDS division of labour.

All Sectors/Major Programmes are contributing to strengthened educational sector policies and practices through: (i) capacity-building of scientists in universities and research institutions to work on HIV and AIDS and dissemination of scientific information; (ii) action against discrimination affecting persons affected with HIV/AIDS, in particular in the framework of the programme of action of the established regional Coalitions of Cities against Racism and Discrimination; (iii) the development of gender-sensitive and culturally sensitive responses; and (iv) the design and implementation of information and communication strategies that focus on prevention activities, capacity-building of information and media professionals, strengthening young people’s participation, and expanding the Global Network of Young TV Producers on HIV and AIDS.

Expected results at the end of the biennium

  • Capacities of Member States, particularly in the education sector, enhanced to implement comprehensive and scaled-up responses to HIV and AIDS grounded on evidence-informed good policies and practices;
  • Multidisciplinary responses by Member States to the HIV and AIDS pandemic in UNESCO’s domains developed and supported, especially emphasizing gender-sensitive, culturally appropriate and non-discriminatory approaches and methods;
  • Media-induced awareness of young people and youth organizations increased to the risks of HIV/AIDS infection.

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