Treatment for HIV and access to comprehensive reproductive health services should be a right for everyone, including the forcibly displaced. But in emergencies, health services are often disrupted and this affects population groups that need continuous prevention, care and treatment, especially people living with HIV and also pregnant women. UNHCR addresses both these important issues and highlights the links between them, believing that integrating reproductive health and HIV services could help maximize collective outcomes.
For those living with HIV, the refugee agency promotes and supports the development of programmes to ensure universal access to prevention, care, treatment and support programmes. UNHCR is a UNAIDS co-sponsor and the lead convening agency for HIV in emergency situations. Through the years, we have developed unique competence and expertise in HIV in emergency situations, particularly related to the forcibly displaced.
In the field of reproductive health, UNHCR promotes the provision of quality information and services based on the needs of the affected population, particularly women and girls. Information and services are provided in a manner that respects religious and ethical values as well as cultural sensitivities while conforming to international human rights standards. Access to such services, including adequate emergency obstetric and neonatal care, can drastically reduce the number of women who die during or after child birth and ensure that mothers and their children enjoy a healthy life. Reproductive health education and services for young people is also important.
Tremendous progress has been made in recent years in the provision of reproductive health care and HIV services for refugees in camps as well as urban areas. But UNHCR believes more needs to be done.
More information on HIV in humanitarian emergencies can be found at the Inter Agency Task team for HIV in Emergencies website by clicking here.
- Guidelines for the delivery of ART to Migrants and Crisis Affected Persons in Sub-Saharan Africa 2014
- HIV in Humanitarian Emergencies
- Updated Policy Statement on HIV Testing and Counselling for Refugees and other persons of concern to UNHCR
- UNAIDS, UNHCR and WHO Policy Brief: HIV and Internally Displaced Persons
- Policy Statement on HIV Testing and Counselling in Health Facilities for Refugees, Internally Displaced Persons and other Persons of Concern to UNHCR
- Policy Statement on HIV Testing and Counselling in Health Facilities for Refugees, Internally Displaced Persons and other Persons of Concern to UNHCR: French Version