Marking the "World AIDS Day", the Australian Agency for International Development and the United Nations Development Programme signed agreement

01 Dec 2005

Marking the 1 December 2005, Kathmandu- Marking the"World AIDS Day", the Australian Agency for International Development and the United Nations Development Programme signed a AU$ 500,000 (approximately US$ 380,000) agreement today at the Australian Embassy providing further Australian support to the HIV and AIDS Harm Reduction Programme for Injecting Drug Users in Nepal.

The agreement is to be executed within the framework of the UN Management Support Agency (MSA) agreement with His Majesty’s Government of Nepal (HMG/N) and as a part of the UN’s response to providing management support for the implementation of the National HIV/AIDS Action Plan 2005 – 2006, in which intravenous drug users are identified as a priority vulnerable group.

The Harm Reduction Programme aims to reduce vulnerability of HIV infection among the Injecting Drug Users in Nepal by providing comprehensive outreach activities i.e. counselling, behavioural change communication, peer mobilisation, extensive awareness of HIV and harms related to drug use, primary health care, and needle and syringe exchange among the injecting drug users.

The activities will be conducted in 11 districts (Jhapa, Morang, Sunsari, Kaski, Bara, Parsa, Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Kailai and Kanchanpur) reaching over twelve thousand injecting drug users.

Acc. to the 2004 data received from UNAIDS, 62,000 people are estimated to have been living with HIV/AIDS. A study conducted in Nepal shows that more than 40 % of Injecting Drug Users are infected with HIV, the present situation can thus be stated as alarming.

Without effective, timely and comprehensive intervention, the present status of HIV, which is concentrated epidemic, could turn into a generalised epidemic. The high HIV prevalence among this population is due to both their unsafe injecting behaviour and their high- risk sexual practices (e.g. low condom use, concurrent sexual partners).

His Excellency Keith Gardner on behalf of AusAid and Mr. Matthew Kahane, UNDP Resident Representative signed the contract.



Contact Information

For more information please contact Ms. Sara Nyanti, Programme Manager, HIV/AIDS- UN MSA at UNDP, Phone: 5523200 ext. 1500 Email:sara.nyanti@undp.org