U.N. Refugee Agency, UNAIDS Call on Governments To Include Refugees in HIV/AIDS Policies
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and UNAIDS in a four-page policy brief released Thursday called on governments worldwide to provide refugees with the same access to HIV/AIDS treatment and services as they would to residents, Xinhua/People's Daily reports. According to Xinhua/People's Daily, the policy brief focuses on the steps needed to address the spread of HIV among refugees, as well as the effect the disease has on the population and host countries. Refugees often experience stigma because of the misconception that HIV prevalence is higher among refugees than among residents of the host country, according to the brief. In addition, refugees "often do not have access to HIV prevention commodities and programs," and access to HIV treatment and support is "rarely given adequate attention," the brief says. In the brief, UNHCR and UNAIDS call on host governments to honor obligations to refugees and to incorporate refugees in HIV/AIDS policies, strategic plans and programs. Host governments also should ensure that refugees have access to comprehensive HIV prevention, treatment, care and support, according to the brief. In addition, the brief recommends that refugees participate with host countries in the design, monitoring and evaluation of HIV/AIDS policies and programs, Xinhua/People's Daily reports (Xinhua/People's Daily, 3/2).
The policy brief is available online. Note: You must have Adobe Acrobat to view the brief.