Regional Partners to act on HIV/AIDS Threat to Mobile Population
Ha Noi - A joint action programme addressing the problems of HIV vulnerability among mobile populations was drafted during a meeting held here last month (24-26 April 2000).
The joint action programme includes specific collaborative activities to be conducted by Viet Nam, Cambodia, Myanmar and the southern Chinese provinces of Yunnan and Guangxi. The Government of Viet Nam was appointed as the coordinator for these Greater Mekong Sub-regional countries to prepare a joint action programme in response to the HIV vulnerability of mobile populations.
The following priority areas of collaboration are identified in the joint action programme:
- Governments are to support and facilitate international and national non-governmental organisations, civil society and local authorities to collaborate with those of neighbouring countries.
- Ensuring open access to information and services for mobile populations among the countries involved in the programme.
- To facilitate the sharing and exchange of HIV behavioural change communication material in the language of each country, for distribution to the mobile population in each of these countries.
- Behavioural change communication material, information on sexually transmitted infections, counselling services and condom promotion to be provided to mobile populations including, but not limited to, fishing communities, entertainment workers, transport operators and construction workers.
The meeting in Ha Noi proposed that a Memorandum of Understanding be considered to facilitate the implementation of the joint action programme for mobile populations to reduce their HIV vulnerability.
Participants also agreed to endorse the draft joint action programme at the ASEAN Task Force on AIDS meeting to take place in Cambodia in October 2000, and that respective national AIDS programmes integrate mobile population concerns into their national response to HIV/AIDS.The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) South East Asia HIV and Development Project, along with UNAIDS Asia and the Pacific Inter-Country Team (APICT), jointly provided technical and financial support to the Government of Viet Nam to assist in the hosting of the consultative meeting.