HIV/AIDS Prevention, Treatment, Care and Support for People Who Use Drugs and People in Prison Settings


Project Duration: 2008 - 31/12/2017

Total Budget: US$ 2,000,000

Donor:  UNAIDS and USAID 


Ministries of Justice, Interior and Health, narcotic drugs control offices, prison administrations, social services, and civil society and community in the countries of the region (currently, Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia)

Target Groups:

People Who Use Drugs and People Living in Closed Settings

Outline and Objectives

The work of UNODC in the area of HIV and AIDS focuses mainly on moving towards universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support for people who use drugs and for people living and working in prisons and other closed settings. We assist member states in reviewing national policies, strategies, legislation, and supporting their adaptation, providing comprehensive HIV services, and strengthening monitoring and evaluation. All UNODC supported activities are geared towards strengthening national ownership and building national capacity. It is expected that, by the end of the programme cycle, HIV services for people who use drugs and for people in prisons will become integral components of national health agendas, including prison health, and social services in key countries. Technical assistance provided is based on the relevant declarations resolutions and decisions adopted by United Nations governing bodies, such as the United Nations General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council, the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice and the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board.

Key Achievements

  • In Egypt, through two civil society organizations in Alexandria and Luxor more than 1,500 clients - both People who inject drugs (PWID) and Men who have sec with men (MSM) - were screened for HIV. In addition, more than 2,150 persons were screened for Hepatitis B and C in 2016.
  • UNODC facilitated, technically reviewed, finalized and published the Opioid Substation Therapy Assessment study conducted by the consultants in Egypt.
  • The Population Size Estimation Study of three Key at Risk Populations (People Who Inject, Men Sex with Men and Female Sex Workers) facilitated, technically reviewed, and finalized. The study conducted across Egypt in 2015 and published in November 2016, showed that an estimated 22,700 persons in Cairo and Giza, around 6,900 in Alexandria, and around 1,000 in Menia inject drugs.
  • In collaboration with the WHO, two key guidelines translated into Arabic: (i) the Guidelines for Countries Set Targets for Universal Access to HIV Prevention, Treatment and care for PWID; and (ii) the Guidelines for the Psychosocially Assisted Pharmacological Treatment of Opioid Dependence.
  • A training session and a study tour to Beirut organized for 14 professionals from the Libyan National Centre for Disease Control and civil society organizations working in the area of HIV prevention, treatment and care.
  • A Prison HIV and Drug Use Assessment conducted in five Moroccan prisons which comprise 18,716 prisoners, equaling almost one quarter of Morocco's prison population.