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To prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and reduce its impact, developing countries need to mobilize all levels of government and civil society. As a trusted development partner, the UNDP advocates that HIV/AIDS be placed at the centre of national planning and budgets. The UNDP also helps build nations’ capacity to manage initiatives that include people and institutions not usually involved with public health, and promotes decentralized responses such as community-level action. Because HIV/AIDS is a global problem, the UNDP supports these national efforts by offering the best knowledge, resources, and practices from around the world.

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UNDP is one of the members of the UN Theme Group on HIV/AIDS in Belarus. The Theme Group has assisted the Government of Belarus in the identification of strategies for the national response. Support was provided for the development of the Strategic Plan of Responses to the HIV/AIDS Epidemic in Belarus for 2004-2008 and the State Programme for HIV/AIDS Prevention. The Theme Group played a key role in mobilizing funds, designing and piloting projects aimed at preventing HIV among injecting drug users, commercial sex workers, youth, MSM, prisoners, army personnel, as well as initiatives for the prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV. 

Stopping the spead of the epidemic and reducing its impact

In 2004-2009, UNDP and the Belarusian Ministry of Health implemented the joint project  “Prevention and Treatment of HIV/AIDS in the Republic of Belarus”, funded by the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, TB, and Malaria.

The Project supported the activities of 56 confidential counseling points for intravenous drug users operating in all regions of Belarus. The counseling points provide injecting drug users with a whole range of medical and psychological services including syringe-exchange, counseling, information and education services.

The Project has also organized HIV/AIDS preventive interventions targeted at vulnerable groups such as female sex workers and men having sex with men. The interventions have included the training of 100 professionals working with vulnerable groups, information and education activities, distribution of condoms, disinfectants and information materials for those target groups.

Training on HIV/AIDS treatment for medical doctors working in penitentiary institutions was organized as part of the Project component on HIV prevention in prisons. On completing the training, doctors were awarded state certificates. Thanks to this initiative, trained professionals on HIV/AIDS treatment are now available in penitentiary institutions. In addition, a special laboratory ensuring the proper monitoring on the effectiveness of antiretroviral therapy administered to HIV-positive prisoners has been provided to the Medical Service of the Penitentiary Department of the Belarusian Ministry of Internal Affairs.

For the first time, palliative care services at home were made available to persons with heavy manifestations of AIDS in three cities of the country (Minsk, Svetlogorsk and Zhlobin). Meaningful support was provided to the Belarusian Ministry of Health in establishing a uniform national system for HIV/AIDS monitoring and evaluation. The system allows for the most advanced monitoring of HIV/AIDS based on the use of information technologies.

Due to the project, the national healthcare system needs in antiretroviral medicines for HIV/AIDS treatment have been fully met. The success with implementation of the US$ 17 million grant of the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has created an opportunity for continued funding of HIV/AIDS prevention activities in Belarus, based on continued successful performance, until 2015.

On-going Projects:

00073353 Ensure Universal Access of the Key Affected Populations in Belarus to HIV Prevention, Treatment and Care

00076047 Prevention and Treatment of HIV/AIDS in the Republic of Belarus – 2


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