United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) was established globally in 1996 to lead and inspire the world in achieving universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support, a mission that was taken to countries including Swaziland. UNAIDS aims to lead the world in its quest to end the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat and attain the three zeros vision i.e. Zero New HIV Infections; Zero Discrimination and Zero AIDS Related Deaths. 

UNAIDS’ approach is evidence-informed and rights-based, underpinned by the values of equality and sustainability, and has inclusive governance and mutual accountability at the core. Ultimately it seeks to provide support to robust country-owned and -led AIDS responses. The only cosponsored Joint Programme of the United Nations System, UNAIDS is a tangible example of a coherent intersectoral response to the multifaceted issue of HIV. Its strength derives from the diverse expertise and mandates of its 11 Cosponsors (UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UN Women, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank) and the added value of the Secretariat. The work of UNAIDS is guided by its 2016–2021 Strategy “On the Fast-Track to end AIDS”, and is aligned to the Sustainable Development Goals.

All aspects of UNAIDS work are directed by the following guiding principles:

  • Aligned to national stakeholders’ priorities;
  • Based on the meaningful and measurable involvement of civil society, especially people living with HIV and populations most at risk of HIV infection;
  • Based on human rights and gender equality;
  • Based on the best available scientific evidence and technical knowledge;
  • Promoting comprehensive responses to AIDS that integrate prevention, treatment, care and support; and
  • Based on the principle of non-discrimination.

In Swaziland, UNAIDS provides technical and policy advisory for a multisectoral and sustainable national HIV response with some catalytic funds. UNAIDS’ strength lies in its technical expertise and ability to draw on its global wide knowledge base. UNAIDS support to the national HIV response is coordinated through the Joint UN Team on AIDS in accordance with the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF). The UNDAF prioritizes 

  • reduction of youth risky sexual behaviours through strengthening of government and civil society's capacity to deliver quality HIV prevention services 
  • increased uptake of HIV services through strengthening health sector capacity to deliver quality HIV treatment care and support services and 
  • Strengthening institutional capacity for coordination of overall multisectoral HIV response.