HIV and health

 Angélica Méndez, community trainer on the prevention of HIVAngélica Méndez, trained to teach others about the prevention of HIV, is now a leader in her community in El Salvador. (Photo: Mauricio Martínez / UNDP in El Salvador)

Globally, 35 million people are living with HIV. While new HIV infections have declined by 38 percent since 2001, the HIV epidemic continues to outpace the response.

There is a growing threat from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes – accounting for 60% of premature deaths. Over the next twenty years, NCDs and mental health will cause a cumulative economic output loss of US$ 47 trillion globally.

Addressing HIV and other health threats, and the development challenges they pose, requires action beyond the health sector to tackle underlying social, cultural and economic factors influencing health outcomes.

UNDP’s Strategic Plan 2014–2017 recognizes the wide-ranging social and economic impacts of HIV, and the synergies between health and sustainable development. It addresses HIV as a cross-cutting issue, and draws attention to the rights of people living with HIV; reducing HIV-related discrimination and violence against women; strengthening local governance and national capacities to secure more equitable access to services for people affected by HIV; and reinforcing the rule of law and reform of legal systems.

UNDP is a Cosponsor of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), a partner of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and a cosponsor of several other international health partnerships. UNDP’s HIV and health work leverages the organization’s core strengths and mandates in human development, governance, gender equality and capacity development to complement the efforts of specialist health-focused UN agencies and other partners.

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