Young People & HIV

Young People & HIV

 

Young People & HIV

© UNICEF/Armenia/Krikorian

Issue

Working for young people and promoting their participation in various activities and projects is one of our priorities. That is why we support the Government in formulation and implementation of a national policy on young people.

Armenia is one of the countries, where HIV/AIDS is spreading quickly – especially among high risk groups. Yet many young people in Armenia, particularly those living in remote settlements and villages, lack basic information on HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases. In addition, many of them have no opportunity to make use of corresponding services.

Lack of easily available counselling services, trained personnel, information and educational programmes on healthy lifestyle, reproductive health and prevention of drug abuse, spread of sexually-transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS puts many Armenian young people, particularly those living in rural areas, at high risk.

Within communities adolescents rarely find any support and care and discrimination against people living with HIV remains a big concern.

Action                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

  • UNICEF assisted the Government of Armenia in development of a Country Specific Strategic Plan for HIV/AIDS Prevention among Most at-Risk Adolescents (injecting drug users, female sex workers, men who have sex with men) and Especially Vulnerable Young People (children in conflict with law, children attending community centres, children deprived of parental care as identified under HIV/AIDS Rapid Assessment and Response 2006) and a National Behaviour Change Communication Strategy for HIV/AIDS Prevention among MARA and EVYP for 2007-2011 which are incorporated into the National Programme on the Response to HIV Epidemic for 2007-2011 endorsed on 1 March 2007.

  • We also promote introduction of Life Skills-based education in upper grades of secondary schools with particular focus on HIV/AIDS and healthy lifestyle.

  • UNICEF facilitates the introduction of youth-friendly health services into the health system through advocacy, policy development and training of health care providers and local authorities.

  • UNICEF intimately contributes to “Capacity building in HIV/AIDS Prevention” UN Joint Programme (UNAIDS, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNDP) aimed at strengthening the capacity of local authorities and selected NGOs working in the areas of community development, youth, human rights, gender, etc., to mainstream HIV/AIDS into their activities.

  • UNICEF actively contributes to all discussions on the problem of HIV/AIDS prevention and response that are organized by members of the Country Cooperation Committee on HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria and leads the HIV/AIDS Thematic Group of the United Nations in Armenia.

    Impact

    • In 2006, a total of 180 young people, parents, community leaders, local administration in five marzes participated in sensitization/awareness raising meetings on HIV/AIDS related issues, stigma and healthy lifestyle, youth friendly health services, rights and needs of adolescents for access to health information and counselling.

    • In 2006, 92 health care providers in five marzes were trained on youth friendly approaches, HIV/AIDS/STIs/Drug Use, reproductive health issues and how to ensure referral to appropriate specialists if needed.

    • In 2006 the National norms and standards for quality of care at Youth Friendly Health Services were developed with a clear delineation of what services should be provided by each level of health care as well as the level of specialisation of a service provider.

    • Healthy lifestyle curriculum was developed and piloted in upper grades of 30 schools with relevant trainings and guidelines provided to teachers of those schools.
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