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Areas of action

Mainstreaming work on containing the spread of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa


Selling of condoms at a kiosk in Bujumbura, Burundi.

In view of the impact the HIV epidemic is having on all levels of society in sub-Saharan Africa, the United Nations in 2001 called on its member coun­tries to take action to contain HIV across all sectors.

In response to that call to action, the BMZ intro­duced binding guide­lines on dealing with the risks associated with the HIV epidemic in the context of its technical and financial cooperation projects. In all devel­op­ment projects carried out in coun­tries in sub-Saharan Africa in which more than one per cent of the popu­la­tion are HIV-positive an impact assess­ment must first be carried out to establish whether the epidemic will have a negative impact on the project and whether the project will unintentionally contribute to the spread of the HI virus. Following the impact assess­ment, project activities are then adapted or expanded to include HIV-specific measures. This ensures that German de­vel­op­ment projects are effective and sus­tain­able.

In coun­tries affected by the HIV epidemic, German devel­op­ment co­op­er­a­tion also carries out its own HIV programmes that incorporate all levels of society. In 2011, for instance, 75 per cent of German technical co­op­er­a­tion projects in sub-Saharan Africa carried out HIV risk assess­ments. Of these projects, 54 per cent identified risks associated with achieving the project objectives and 27 coun­tries carried out measures to mitigate the HIV risk.

Elementary education projects, for instance, incorporate the topic of HIV into their curricula. Awareness-raising campaigns and codes of conduct for teachers are initiated at teacher training colleges. The aim is to enable both pupils and teachers to better protect them­selves against HIV infection.

In the context of its efforts to contain the spread of HIV, German de­vel­op­ment co­op­er­a­tion also runs work­place programmes for its own staff. They are taught about the risks of HIV trans­mission and prevention methods. They also learn where to turn for treat­ment and care. One im­por­tant aspect is avoiding HIV-associated stigmatisation and discrimination in the workplace.

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