REGIONAL STRATEGY: FOR HIV PREVENTION, TREATMENT AND CARE AND SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AND RIGHTS AMONG KEY POPULATIONS
The “Regional Strategy for HIV and AIDS Prevention, Treatment and Care and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights among Key Populations” is a result of a series of participatory and interactive processes that involved members of key populations, governments, civil society and development partners. It was approved, in November 2017, by SADC Ministers responsible for Health and HIV and AIDS.
The Strategy is in line with the revised Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) which provides the Secretariat and other SADC institutions with a clear view of SADC’s approved economic and social policies and priorities.
HIV and AIDS interventions remain one of the priority areas of the revised RISDP and its overall goal is to decrease the number of HIV and AIDS infected and affected individuals and families in the SADC region, so that HIV and AIDS is no longer a threat to public health and to the socio-economic development of Member States.
In 2015, the international community transitioned from the Millennium Development Goals to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which specifically highlight the necessity of “leaving no one behind”, including key populations, if the global community is to realize sustainable development. Among them is SDG 3, which aims to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.
Globally and also within the SADC region, while new infections continue to decrease, the rate of decrease has declined since 2010 and in some cases, we have seen an increase in new infections, sparking fears of a rebound of the epidemic. The 2016 High Level Political Declaration has set an ambitious target for HIV prevention. Countries will be expected to reduce their new adult infections by 75 % by 2020 based on the 2010 levels. Given the decline in resources for HIV prevention since 2010, there is need to significantly increase our investment in prevention if the SADC Region is to contribute to the end of AIDS by 2030. If the SADC countries are to meet the 2020 prevention target and ending AIDS in 2030 for HIV prevention, an extraordinary effort will be required.
It is in this context that the SADC Secretariat, in collaboration with Member States, UN Agencies, and other regional stakeholders, developed the “Regional Strategy for HIV and AIDS Prevention, Treatment and Care and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights among Key Populations” .
This Strategy is expected to serve as a guide to Member States in designing and implementing appropriate Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) and HIV prevention, treatment and care programmes for key populations focusing on the major issues that need to be addressed at policy, legal, institutional and facility levels.
– SADC Executive Secretary