UNDP is a founding co-sponsor of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). UNAIDS coordinates, strengthens and supports global action in response to HIV epidemics. UNAIDS is comprised of eleven co-sponsors and a Secretariat.
Globally 35 million people are living with HIV. Although there have been gains in reducing new infections, the epidemic continues to outpace the response. UNDP’s work on HIV is guided by the UNAIDS Strategy 2011 – 2015: Getting to Zero. UNAIDS’ strategic directions includes scaling up HIV prevention, increasing HIV related treatment, care and support and advancing human rights and gender equality.
UNDP addresses HIV as a cross-cutting issue highlighted in two areas of work: sustainable development pathways and strengthening inclusive and effective democratic governance. It is working towards the removal of punitive laws, policies and practices that exacerbate gender inequality, stigma and discrimination and hinder effective responses to HIV. UNDP is working to advance the rights of key populations and those disproportionately affected by HIV such as women and girls, men who have sex with men, sex workers, drug users and transgender people, ensuring that they have equitable access to essential services. UNDP is also promoting HIV-sensitive development policy and programming such as inclusive social protection for HIV-affected populations.
For example, UNDP on behalf of UNAIDS convened the independent Global Commission on HIV and the Law to undertake research and analysis on the links between legal environments and HIV responses. The Commission comprised eminent people who continue to provide global leadership on HIV-related legal and human rights issues. The findings and recommendations of the Global Commission are published in a report: HIV and the Law: Risks, Rights and Health (July 2012). UNDP is working with governments, civil society and other UN partners to follow-up on the recommendations of the Global Commission.