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New York, New York, United Nations Population Fund [UNFPA], 2007.  p.The influence behind faith-based organizations is not difficult to discern. In many developing countries, FBOs not only provide spiritual guidance to their followers; they are often the primary providers for a variety of local health and social services. Situated within communities and building on relationships of trust, these organizations have the ability to influence the attitudes and behaviours of their fellow community members. Moreover, they are in close and regular contact with all age groups in society and their word is respected. In fact, in some traditional communities, religious leaders are often more influential than local government officials or secular community leaders. Many of the case studies researched for the UNFPA publication Culture Matters showed that the involvement of faith-based organizations in UNFPA-supported projects enhanced negotiations with governments and civil society on culturally sensitive issues. Gradually, these experiences are being shared across countries andacross regions, which has facilitated interfaith dialogue on the most effective approaches to prevent the spread of HIV. Such dialogue has also helped convince various faith-based organizations that joining together as a united front is the most effective way to fight the spread of HIV and lessen the impact of AIDS. This manual is a capacity-building tool to help policy makers and programmers identify, design and follow up on HIV prevention programmes undertaken by FBOs. The manual can also be used by development practitioners partnering with FBOs to increase their understanding of the role of FBOs in HIV prevention, and to design plans for partnering with FBOs to halt the spread of the virus. (excerpt)
Estimating the level of HIV prevention coverage, knowledge and protective behavior among injecting drug users: what does the 2008 UNGASS reporting round tell us?
Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. 2009 Dec; 52 Suppl 2:S132-42.OBJECTIVES: The 2001 Declaration of Commitment from the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS (UNGASS) set the prevention of HIV infection among injecting drug users (IDUs) as an important priority in the global fight against HIV/AIDS. This article examines data gathered to monitor the fulfillment of this commitment in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs) where resources to develop an effective response to HIV are limited and where injecting drug use is reported to occur in 99 (of 147) countries, home to 75% of the estimated 15.9 million global IDU population. METHODS: Data relating to injecting drug use submitted by LMICs to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) in the 2008 reporting round for monitoring the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS were reviewed. The quality of the data reported was assessed and country data were aggregated and compared to determine progress in HIV prevention efforts. For each indicator, the mean value weighted for the size of each country's IDU population was determined; regional estimates were also made. RESULTS: Reporting was inconsistent between countries. Forty percent of LMIC (40/99), where injecting occurs, reported data for 1 or more of the 5 indicators pertinent to HIV prevention among IDUs. Many of the data reported were excluded from this analysis because the indicators used by countries were not consistent with those defined by UNAIDS Monitoring and Evaluation Reference Group and could not be compared. Data from 32 of 99 countries met our inclusion criteria. These 32 countries account for approximately two-thirds (68%) of the total estimated IDU population in all LMICs.The IDU population weighted means are as follows: 36% of IDUs tested for HIV in the last year; 26% of IDUs reached with HIV prevention programs in the last year; 45% of IDUs with correct HIV prevention knowledge; 37% of IDUs used a condom at last sexual intercourse; and 63% of IDUs used a clean syringe at last injection. Marked variance was observed in the data reported between different regions. CONCLUSIONS: Data from the 2008 United Nations General Assembly Special Session reporting round provide a baseline against which future progress might be measured. The data indicate a wide variation in HIV service coverage for IDUs and a wide divergence in HIV knowledge and risk behaviors among IDUs in different countries. Countries should be encouraged and assisted in monitoring and reporting on HIV prevention for IDUs.