Nepal has chosen to achieve concrete results of its national HIV programme, by selecting strategic, prioritised and innovative approaches in its ‘Nepal HIV Investment Plan’.
The Plan, developed in light of a downward trend in global HIV funding, is all about making smart investments in Nepal’s HIV response.
Launched here today by health secretary Dr Praveen Mishra, the plan calls for coordination among the public and private sectors, civil society and international partners to reduce Nepal’s HIV burden.
The plan drives an HIV response of a scope, scale, intensity, quality, innovation and speed that will save the maximum number of lives; keep people healthy; and avert as many HIV infections as possible. It will be through national solidarity, mutual accountability, and a well resourced, well researched, and closely monitored HIV response in Nepal that HIV will be addressed in Nepal.
According to director of the National Centre for AIDS and STD Control Dr Naresh Pratap KC, the guiding principles of the investment plan are shared government and community leadership in a true public-private partnership; evidence-informed policies, and outcome and impact-driven public health approaches.
The plan is structured around the rapid scale-up of HIV testing and anti-retroviral treatment for key affected populations, through a National ‘test, treat and retain’ programme, and ‘eVT’, the elimination of vertical transmission of HIV, so no child is born with HIV in Nepal and mothers are kept alive and well.
Some other key features of the document include the breaking down of key affected populations, in order to better tailor HIV services to the different groups’ specific needs; the goal of at least 60 per cent coverage for those who are most affected by HIV, with high-quality services; and the nation-wide roll-out of Community Test and Treat Competence that focuses on community strengths to solve their concerns together.
The plan most strongly calls for targeted, evidence-informed investments that will focus primarily on key affected populations and geographical areas with the highest HIV burden.
Founded on the principles of UNAIDS’ Investment Framework and a National Strategic Plan of the Third Generation, the NHIP has already begun to fulfil its purpose by informing the development of the ‘HIV Concept Note’ to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, and the ‘Government and International Donors’ Predictable HIV funding meeting for the period 2015 to 2017,” co-chaired by the health secretary of the Ministry of Health and Population Dr Mishra, and the UN Resident Coordinator Jamie McGoldrick, to be held on March 19.