UN Cares: Towards an AIDS-free generation

23 nov. 2013

Un staff members gathering at the Cercle Français, Copyright UNDP-DRC

Kinshasa, Saturday 23 November 2013: Approximately 300 United Nations staff members and their families participated in a meeting organized by UN Cares at the Cercle français, where they were provided the latest updates on HIV/AIDS response and scientific developments, received Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) and committed to fight stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV (PLWH) in the workplace, and by extension, in their communities. Also on the agenda: play, games, quiz, music and kids activities.

The United Nations (UN) System in Kinshasa is composed of 23 United Nations agencies and programmes. With 1150 staff members, comprising 875 national and 275 international staff, and their dependents, the whole UN family includes 2500 people.

“UN Cares” is the UN system wide response to HIV within the UN workplace. It aims to provide all UN personnel and their families with access to information, prevention commodities (male and female condoms), voluntary and confidential testing, post-exposure prophylaxis and a supportive workplace environment for PLWH.

HIV/AIDS is not a shameful disease, nor is it a taboo. At this time, there is no cure for HIV infection, but treatment, namely with antiretroviral drugs, is available to control the virus.

Through its programmes and projects all over the country, the United Nations work together with national, regional and local authorities as well as the civil society, NGOs and universities to raise awareness among populations, provide treatment to the sick and support to their entourage. HIV/AIDS therefore affects us all, throughout the DRC.UN staff

members across the world are also affected by HIV/Aids. This awareness has led to the establishment of “UN Plus” in March 2005, which is the UN system-wide group of staff living with HIV. Its mission is to achieve solidarity, equality and acceptance for people living with HIV (PLWH) within the United Nations. In practice this means that UN staff members want to create an enabling environment for all HIV positive staff members irrespective of the level of disclosure of their HIV status.  They say “NO” to stigma and discrimination of PLWH and those affected. They also want to be the effective and organized voice for PLWH within the UN system, and to advocate for the strengthening of existing policies and/or development of additional policies on or relating to HIV within the UN system.

Indeed, UN personnel strongly believe that the fight against HIV/AIDS is a shared and collaborative responsibility. When staff members are fully informed and respect each other, when they develop healthy and responsible behavior in a fair and supportive workplace environment, the resulting positive impact will be felt in the neighborhood, in the community and, by extension, in the entire country. The ultimate goal is “Zero New Infections. Zero Discrimination. Zero AIDS-Related Deaths.”

Contact Information

For more information, please contact Anne-Gaëlle Provost/Email: provosta@unaids.org

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