Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) today (08/12) signed a new cooperation agreement to ensure access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services for migrant and mobile populations as well as people affected by humanitarian emergencies.
“Migrants and mobile populations are exposed to a unique set of factors that render them more vulnerable to HIV/AIDS, including limited access to health services and information as well as exposure to environments that are conducive to engaging in high-risk behaviour,” said IOM Director General William Lacy Swing. “In order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals of ‘leaving no one behind’, and to meet the Universal Health Coverage targets set therein, it is crucial that the rights of migrants to health be realized and effected through evidence-based, whole-of-government and cross-sector approaches, and IOM will continue to work closely with UNAIDS and other actors in jointly addressing these issues," added DG Swing.
“Migrant and refugee populations face many challenges which can make them more vulnerable to HIV,” said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS. “Migrant and refugee populations must be supported and enabled to exercise their right to health which is why we are strengthening our partnership with IOM to ensure they are not left behind.”
Under the new agreement, IOM and UNAIDS will encourage States to address the vulnerabilities to HIV and the specific health care needs experienced by migrant and mobile populations, as well as by refugees and crisis-affected populations. States will be encouraged to take steps to reduce stigma, discrimination and violence, as well as to review policies related to restrictions on entry based on HIV status, with a view to eliminating such restrictions, as well as the return of people based on their status, and to support their access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.
IOM and UNAIDS will also promote access to tailored comprehensive HIV prevention services for all women and adolescent girls, migrants and key populations and look at ways of addressing sexual and gender-based violence by working to ensure access to sexual and reproductive health-care services.
IOM and UNAIDS have a long-standing partnership, formalized in 1999. IOM is part of the UN Joint Team on HIV/AIDS at the country level and its HIV and population mobility programme complements the work of UNAIDS globally.
During the 108th session of IOM Council, UNAIDS was granted Observer status by IOM, a sign of strengthened cooperation between the two institutions.
For more information, please contact Jorge Galindo at IOM HQ, Tel: +41227179205, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org and Sophie Barton-Knott at UNAIDS, Tel: +41 22 791 1697, Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
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