Summary background: Afghanistan faces a high risk of HIV epidemic. In response, the National HIV/AIDS Control program (NACP) was established in the MOPH in 2003. In 2010, the National HIV/AIDS Strategic Plan for 2011-2015 was formulated, which has a clear goal, objectives and activities. In 2007, the NACP prepared a Program Operation Plan (POP). On July 17 2007, a World Bank funded HIV project became into effect.
1. HIV/AIDS in Afghanistan: Afghanistan is considered to be a country with low HIV prevalence but shows signs of concentrated epidemic among one of the high risk groups (i.e. People Who Inject Drugs)..Limited safe blood safety practices and the likely presence of networks amongst populations at higher risk of HIV infection may further increase the vulnerability to HIV. These risks warn of an urgent need for early interventions to prevent a potential epidemic of HIV in Afghanistan, as is already occurring in several surrounding countries.
2. Government’s response: In order to curb the spread of the epidemic, National AIDS Control Program (NACP) has been initiated under the leadership of the MoPH. The MoPH currently has revised the HIV-AIDS National Strategic Plan for Afghanistan 2011 – 2015, through a broad based participatory process. Thematic Working Groups (TWGs), supported by a technical advisory group, are currently focusing on the following topics:
- Surveillance and quality assurance programs
- Monitoring and Evaluation
- Targeted interventions
- Various HIV care issues (ART, HIV testing, blood safety, HIV and TB, STI, PMTCT)
- Advocacy and communication
3. NACP is responsible for the implementation of the HIV and AIDS national strategic plan supported by various partners including the World Bank.