UN Plus Programme Note: Past, Present and Future (2014 – 2016)

BodyThe UN Plus Programme Note: Past, Present and Future (2014 – 2016) gives a summary of UN Plus initiatives since 2014 up till now.

It is available here for download.

 

 

 

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UN Plus at the International AIDS Conference in Durban (3)

AIDS2016_logo_website_white_bg_3Personal Experience at the AIDS 2016 Conference in Durban, South Africa

By George Njuguna (UN Plus Advisory Group/UNON)20160720_105133 - Copy

Acknowledgement

I would like to thank UNAIDS Geneva for funding my trip to Durban and the UN Plus Global coordinator for nominating me to be part of the exhibitors and providing materials and resources to display and distribute at the booth. I would also like to thank my colleagues at the booth (Dan, Jane, Charity and Yvonne). If it were it for the team’s efforts, the mission would not have been a success.

Reasons why Durban – South Africa was the best choice for the AIDS 2016 Conference

Durban is known for its gorgeous 20160719_114913 - Copycoastline, beautiful beaches and wonderful subtropical weather. Durban is a city in South Africa, a country that has the biggest and most high profile HIV epidemic in the world. The country has the largest antiretroviral treatment program globally and has recently announced that people living with HIV would have access to life-saving medicines via ATMs —a plan that can be emulated by the whole world.

Key populations including Men who have Sex with Men, Sex Workers and People who inject drugs are the most affected by HIV in South Africa; these community groups drive main force towards the AIDS-Free generation.

The UN Plus / UN Cares booth at the Global Village of the AIDS 2016 Conference.

20160718_121558The UN Plus/UN Cares booth was located in the Global Village (GV), which gave participants, exhibitors and delegates an easy access to the booth throughout the conference. UN Plus/UN Cares materials and resources were available for display and distribution and they increased the level of interest in UN Plus among GV p20160719_120516 - Copyarticipants.
It was quite interesting to present a different face of UN from what many people are familiar with: The UN which has a global presence and a leading role in the global AIDS response is also doing a lot to improve the wellbeing and productivity of its personnel. Having communicated this different face with many visitors to the booth, who had come with no ideas what UN Plus or UN Cares were all about, and having helped them understand this unique workplace program was very fulfilling. However, dealing with such questions as to whether we were giving grants or hiring any people was rather challenging.

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UN Plus at the International AIDS Conference in Durban (2)

By Yvonne Kasine (UN Plus Advisory Group Member/UNICEF Rwanda)

AIDS2016_logo_website_white_bg_3UN Plus and UN Cares had a booth in the Global Village at the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) in Durban from 18th to 22nd July 2016. Many people came to seek information on how UN is managing the HIV in the workplace. The booth had a lot of visitors and many of them expressed the interest to partner with UN Plus.

On 18th July 2016, UN Plus and UN Cares together with other partners organized a panel discussion at the Community Dialogue Space in the Global Village. The discussion was entitled Challenges and Successes in HIV Workplace Policies and Programmes: Experience from sub-Saharan Africa.Yvonne 1

Each panel made a presentation on the best practices and challenges around HIV work policies and programmes.

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Negotiating Positive Living within the United Nations System

During 2015, UN PlPositive Livingus conducted a qualitative study on the experiences of UN staff members living with HIV. In the study, 13 HIV-positive staff members of different grades, nationalities, duty stations, gender and sexual orientations were interviewed about their experiences of working in the United Nations system. Based on the interviews, the study analyzed numerous challenges staff members living with HIV currently face in the system and presented them as five case studies. Furthermore, it recommends policy options and possible interventions to improve the UN work environment for people living with HIV.

The executive summary is available here for download. The full report will be made available soon.

 

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UN Plus at the International AIDS Conference in Durban (1)

AIDS2016_logo_website_white_bg_3UN Plus in collaboration with UN Cares has an exhibition booth at the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) in Durban, South Africa.2016-07-20-PHOTO-00000103

The booth is located in the Global Village (Booth #519). Ifyou are attending the AIDS 2016, please visit the booth, talk to some UN Plus members and take some UN Plus materials.

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One Stop Clinic and Key Responses to AIDS of the United Nations System

UN PlOne Stop Clinicus has completed a case study on the “One Stop Clinic” in Kenya. The “One Stop Clinic” is a service offered by the UN system in Kenya that provides access to HIV-related treatment to UN staff living with HIV. The UN system complements 20% of the treatment costs while the staff members have 80% of the costs reimbursed by their respective agencies through the medical insurance scheme. The service also gives emphasis on confidentiality given the stigma that still exists in Kenya.

The UN Plus case study looks at the mechanism of the “One Stop Clinic” from its history to the current set-up through a series of interviews of the key personnel. It not only illustrates the lessons learned, but also attempts to address key responses by the UN system to the improved access to HIV treatment, which can be replicated by other duty stations.

The executive summary is available here and the full report here.

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UN Run in Nairobi

By Jane Sinyei (UN Plus Coordinator, Kenya)

The UN Run organized on a HIV and wellness platform for staff, was held this morning at UN Gigiri to mark this year’s World AIDS Day (WAD).  WAD is usually commemorated on 1st December worldwide. The theme for this year, just like last year is “Getting to Zero” – Zero new HIV infections, Zero AIDS-related deaths and Zero discrimination.

The fun race was flagged off by the Director-General, UNON Ms Sahle-Work Zewde who also took part in the actual event. In participation was Dr. Pirkko Heinonen, the UNICEF Kenya Representative.

This event is organized jointly with the recreational center, the HIV peer supporters, UN Joint Medical Services and the UN Cares office. Over 100 staff members participated in the 5-kilometre keep-fit Run within the UN complex.  Like in the past, staff members registered for the this event for a nominal fee of Kshs.600/- each.  The proceeds will go towards supporting a char12339220_1041908785860139_3728375644968552819_oity programme on behalf of UN staff.

The winners of the race were presented with medals by Catherine Masaka, the Deputy Country Director (Operations), UNDP and was closed by Dr. Joshua Anino, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer, UN Joint Medical Services.

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UN Plus Malawi Updates

By Evelyn Jonazi (UN Plus/UNAIDS Malawi)

 (a) UN Malawi holds UN Wellness Day

The UN in Malawi recently held their annual UN Wellness Day at Peak Gardens in the capital city, Lilongwe, with the aim of reminding the UN personnel of the importance of adopting health seeking behavior.

Malawi01Ms. Mia Seppo, the Resident Coordinator, led the UN Country Team in signing the pledge against stigma and discrimination in the UN work place in Malawi and in reaffirming the UNCT’s commitment to zero stigma and discrimination in the UN workplace and beyond.

During the official opening, the UN Plus Malawi chapter led the candlelight memorial to remember all those who have lost their lives to AIDS. The ceremony was facilitated by Mrs. Evelyn Jonazi, UN Plus Advisory Group Chairperson, and Mrs. Miriam Nyoni, a member of the Country Chapter Executive Committee.

The day-long event provided UN personnel and their families the opportunity to have health related consultations with doctors, physiotherapists and dentists who were present in the event. There were also blood donation facilities.

The UN Plus Malawi Chapter has recorded zero AIDS-related deaths since the last UN Wellness Day in 2014 and continues to enjoy a great partnership with UN Cares Malawi and the UNCT.

 

Malawi-2(b) Deputy Regional Director Meets UN Plus Advisory Group Chairperson during his mission to Malawi

Dr. Pierre Somse, the Deputy Regional Director for the UNAIDS Regional Support Team for Eastern and Southern Africa, has completed his week-long mission to the warm heart of Africa, Malawi.

During the mission, Dr. Somse held a series of meetings with key government ministers and officials as well as donors and civil society organizations. He also met with Mrs. Evelyn Jonazi, the UN PLUS Advisory Group Chairperson, and discussed about the UN Plus response to the epidemic in the Eastern and Southern Africa region.

 

 

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UNDERSTANDING AND RESPECTING DIFFERENT LEVELS OF HIV DISCLOSURE

UNPlus_HIV_ DisclosureDisclosure of one’s HIV status is an extremely sensitive issue. The extent to which people living with HIV decide to keep their HIV status private is a personal choice, and we need to respect that decision in any context or any setting. However, we often encounter situations where such sensitivity is taken lightly and one’s personal decision and choice is not fully respected.
UN Plus has developed a guidance entitled “Understanding and Respecting Different Levels of HIV Disclosure,” to raise further awareness of disclosure of HIV status among those who are engaged in the AIDS response in the UN system. Please download and share this document with as many colleagues and friends as possible.
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UN Plus Malawi

UN Plus Joins the Zero Discrimination Campaign in Malawi

By Evelyn Jonazi (UN Plus/UNAIDS Malawi)

Leadership in the AIDS response requires a strong sense of social justice and social change. In order to end AIDS, ensuring health, dignity and security as well as enabling social, cultural and work environment for those affected by the epidemic is critical. At the same time, stigma and discrimination of people living with HIV remain a major challenge that needs to be addressed.

This is why UN Plus Malawi joined the Zero Discrimination Day led by the First Lady of Malawi. UN Plus was at the heart of the campaign on the day. In solidarity, we can halt HIV and end AIDS.

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