HIV / AIDS Unit

Who we are

The UNMISS HIV/AIDS Unit works to combat HIV and AIDS both within and outside the mission. It is committed to a fair and equitable workplace, which ensures all personnel are fully informed about HIV and AIDS and related issues, including policies.

The Unit is committed to promoting sustained positive behaviour change through various HIV interventions, including prevention strategies in South Sudan. The Unit aims to build HIV and AIDS programmes, in which all persons regardless of gender, sexual orientation, background, religion, culture and or economic status have access to quality HIV and AIDS services. 

Why we are here

  • Create HIV and AIDS capacity building in South Sudan, zeroing in on three identified priority areas -- HIV and AIDS Integration in Sexual Gender-Based Violence, HIV and AIDS mainstreaming in Disarmament, Demobilization and Re-integration, and HIV integration in Security Sector Reform;
  • Reduce the risk of UNMISS members transmitting or contracting HIV by developing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating a comprehensive mission-wide HIV and AIDS awareness, prevention, care and support strategy;
  • Create HIV and AIDS capacity building to support South Sudan through outreach programmes in collaboration with other stakeholders

 

What we do

The HIV/AIDS Unit capacity building programmes target UNMISS staff, UN agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), organized forces of South Sudan (military, police, prisons, wildlife and fire brigade), ex-combatants, internally displaced persons, returnees, women, youth, religious leaders, clubs for People Living with HIV, students, teachers, mobile risk populations, and larger communities.

The unit also integrates HIV and AIDS into all UNMISS functions, with priorities in HIV/Sexual Gender-Based Violence, HIV/Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration, and HIV/Security Sector Reform through outreach programmes. Key activities are centred in the following training blocks:
 
Induction training for all incoming UNMISS uniformed and non-uniformed staff, covering basic facts about HIV and AIDS, sexually transmitted infections, prevention strategies /safer sex practices, importance of Voluntary Confidential Counseling and Testing (VCCT) services, sexual exploitation and abuse, gender and HIV and chemo-prophylaxis for those exposed to HIV during conduct of duty and safer sex practices;

Training of Peer Educators (TOPE) courses to promote positive behaviour among staff, culminating in one-to-one coaching. The 10-day course, open to peacekeepers, UN agencies, NGOs, South Sudan’s uniformed services, the larger population and other actors, aims to provide trainees with knowledge, skills and attitudes surrounding HIV and AIDS;

Training of Change Agents (CA) courses, mainly to support South Sudan in national HIV and AIDS capacity building. The scope and objectives of this 10-day training are similar to TOPE workshops, but also address CA specifics, including enhanced interpersonal communications skills and participatory exercises;

Training of HIV and AIDS counselors to promote VCCT (both internally and externally). After an 18-day training, counselors serve in HIV and AIDS prevention, care, support and treatment programmes;

Weekly supportive and /or awareness programmes to foster general HIV and AIDS awareness and boost reinforced behaviour change in support of above training blocks;

Production of Information, Education and Communication materials, which include mission HIV and AIDS Policy, VCCT Standard Operating Procedures, Post Exposure Prophylaxis Protocol, Condom Supply Strategy, flyers, posters, manuals, t-shirts and caps to support the set unit training blocks mission-wide;

Operation of mini HIV/AIDS libraries at mission headquarters in Juba, as well as in state HIV/AIDS Mobile Team Centres, making information about HIV and AIDS easily accessible.

What we have done

Since 11 July 2011, the unit has: 

  • Trained hundreds of Change Agents for outreach campaigns across states and graduated dozens of Peer Educators for internal HIV and AIDS awareness;
  • Through Change Agents and Peer Educators, the Unit has maintained 94 per cent HIV&AIDS awareness among all staff; 
  • Sensitized tens of thousands persons on HIV and AIDS, including South Sudanese organized forces (military, police, prisons, wildlife and fire brigade), ex-combatants, internally displaced persons, returnees, women and youth associations, students and teachers, Mobile Risk Populations and larger communities; 
  • Through workshops, graduated dozens of HIV and AIDS counselors; 
  • Through trained counselors, offered free Voluntary Confidential Counseling and Testing (VCCT) services to more than 20,000 clients across the country; 
  • Conducted weekly HIV and AIDS induction in Entebbe Logistics Base, sensitizing new staff members deployed to UNMISS, as well as the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, UN/AU Mission in Darfur and UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA); 
  • In partnership with other stakeholders, commemorated World AIDS Day, raising HIV&AIDS awareness and fund raising for the needy in South Sudan through charity marathon runs; 
  • As part of promotion of Safer Sex and HIV prevention, care and support services, the Unit dispensed hundreds of thousands of condoms; 
  • Developed UNMISS HIV and AIDS Policy, VCCT SOP and Condom Supply Strategy;
  • Developed, produced and distributed Information, Education, Communication materials; 
  • Opened mini HIV/AIDS libraries; 
  • Established mission HIV/AIDS Task Force and HIV/AIDS State Steering Committees for collaboration, driving implementation of Plans of Acton, division of labour and networking (promoting partnership); 
  • Developed monitoring and evaluation tools.

Who we work with

The HIV/AIDS Unit works in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, South Sudan HIV/AIDS Commission, Ministry for Local Government, other relevant ministries, organized forces of South Sudan (military, police, prisons, wildlife and fire brigade), clubs for People Living with HIV, religious leaders, schools, UN agencies, non-governmental organizations, South Sudan Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) Commission, and the larger population.
 
Internally, the unit works with all sections, especially Gender, Medical, DDR, UN Police, Human Rights, Corrections (Rule of Law), Military Liaison Office and Integrated Mission Training Centre.