UNAIDS and IOM signed a partnership agreement
UNAIDS and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) signed a new cooperation agreement to promote access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services for migrants, mobile populations and people affected by humanitarian emergencies.
“Migrants and people displaced through conflict or emergencies must be supported and enabled through their journeys to exercise their right to health,” said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS. “This new partnership agreement between UNAIDS and the International Organization for Migration will be essential in strengthening our efforts to make sure that no one is left behind.”
Under the new agreement, UNAIDS and IOM will encourage states to take steps to ensure access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support and to reduce stigma, discrimination and violence. States will also be encouraged to review policies related to restrictions on entry based on HIV status, with a view to eliminating such restrictions.
“Migrants and mobile populations are exposed to a unique set of factors that render them more vulnerable to HIV, including limited access to health services and information as well as exposure to environments that are conducive to engaging in higher-risk behaviours,” said IOM Director General William Lacy Swing. “In order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals 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 the International Organization for Migration will continue to work closely with UNAIDS and other actors in jointly addressing these issues,” added Mr. Swing.
IOM and UNAIDS will work to ensure a package of care for people living with HIV and/or tuberculosis in humanitarian emergencies and conflict settings to reduce their vulnerability to HIV, reduce the risk of treatment interruption and ensure access to quality healthcare and nutritious food.
UNAIDS and IOM will also tackle the multiple forms of discrimination against refugee and migrant women and girls and promote access to tailored comprehensive HIV prevention services for women and adolescent girls, migrants and key populations.