What is being done

Around ten percent of all new HIV infections worldwide are due to injecting drug use. But in some regions it's now the main route of HIV transmission - accounting for over 80 per cent of all HIV cases.  UNODC assist countries to provide people who inject drugs, prisoners and people vulnerable to human trafficking with evidence -informed, comprehensive HIV prevention treatment and care services through:
  • Advocacy
  • Support in developing effective legislation and policies
  • Support in developing comprehensive evidence based interventions and programmes
  • Building capacity of national stakeholders including government agencies, civil society and community organizations to ensure optimum coverage to these population groups with HIV services
One of the most important lessons learned from over two decades of work on HIV and AIDS is that prevention and care interventions need to be comprehensive and multisectoral to address the needs of often very diverse vulnerable populations. Prevention, treatment and care have to go hand-in-hand and in large-scale initiatives, as the Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS, which was adopted by the General Assembly in 2006 (resolution 60/262), sets the example. In order to reverse the trends of existing HIV and AIDS epidemics and to prevent a new wave of epidemics, interventions must be comprehensive, based on evidence and scaled-up immediately. The comprehensive package of interventions are endorsed by the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, the UNAIDS Programme Coordination Board, and the Economic and Social Council.

Working hand in hand

The HIV/AIDS work of UNODC is done in partnership with all UNAIDS co-sponsors and key partners, including civil society organizations and organizations of people living with HIV/AIDS. The Office also works with UN Theme Groups on HIV/AIDS, and specific national technical working groups on areas in which UNODC has a lead role within the broad framework of the UN Implementation Support Plans. For such working groups, UNODC advocates including all stakeholders, such as health, law enforcement and criminal justice sectors, as well as non-governmental organizations and people living with or affected by AIDS.

Civil society organizations play a vital role in HIV and AIDS prevention treatment and care

Partnering with civil society organizations is seen as particularly important by UNODC. In many parts of the world, the HIV epidemics continue to spread at alarming rates within specific, often marginalised, groups such as people who use drugs, people in prison settings, and sex workers. These vulnerable groups are often denied of their basic human rights to have access to prevention, care and treatment services as well as to voice their specific needs.

Meaningful involvement of people living with HIV

UNODC believes that civil society organizations play a vital role in HIV/AIDS prevention and care among these vulnerable groups by empowering them so their voices are heard when decisions that affect their lives are made. The Office has thus been actively promoting the meaningful involvement of such organizations, including organizations of people living with HIV/AIDS in the context of GIPA (Greater Involvement of People Living with HIV/ AIDS). It is also working to build the capacity of civil society organizations in helping them to contribute to the development of appropriate policies, strategies and programmes for people who use drugs, prisoners and potential and actual victims of human trafficking.

UNODC, a co-sponsor of UNAIDS since 1999

UNAIDS brings together in the AIDS response the efforts and resources of 11 entities of the United Nations system. Based in Geneva, the UNAIDS secretariat works on the ground in more than 75 countries. Established in 1994 by a resolution of the Economic and Social Council and launched in January 1996, UNAIDS is guided by a Programme Coordinating Board with representatives of 22 Governments from all regions and five representatives of non-governmental organizations, including associations of people living with HIV/AIDS. The 11 UNAIDS co-sponsoring organizations, which together form the Committee of Cosponsoring Organizations, are: The Committee of Cosponsoring Organizations meets annually.