In line with the thrust to focus on regions identified by the government as the most disadvantaged, the UNICEF HIV and AIDS Programme will be implemented in at least three HIV priority areas in the Philippines. To ensure that efforts can be sustained and scaled up, UNICEF will work mainly with local government units (LGUs), and advocate the efficient use of resources as primary agents of service delivery and systems building.
Working closely with the Joint UN Programme on HIV Prevention for populations most at-risk, UNICEF will promote universal access to relevant services by supporting the coverage of quality prevention, care, support and treatment services in urban areas. The programme will focus on policy reform, standards-setting and capacity development, and governance.
To achieve the programme’s overall goal and specific result, the following activities will be implemented:
• Advocate the removal of legal barriers on HIV testing and counseling for those below 18.
• Map out services available to adolescents and pregnant women, and strengthen and expand them.
• Improve the capacity of local social welfare providers to understand the needs of adolescents at increased risk of HIV infection, and to mainstream HIV awareness in their work with them.
• Strengthen HIV-related reporting systems and monitor quality of services being offered.
• Implement communication for development programmes with at-risk populations, ensuring their participation in developing key messages and strategies. These will raise HIV awareness and reduce its stigma, while enhancing the perception that services are useful, accessible, and affordable.
• Advocate increased investment. Local AIDS Councils will be strengthened to advocate for local plans with budget allocations for most at-risk young people and the prevention of mother-to-child transmission.