Botswana is one of the countries most heavily affected by HIV and AIDS, and recent data indicate that women are more susceptible to infection than men. Many factors contribute to the virus’s spread, including multiple sexual partners in a short time, social and cultural standards, gender inequality and high population mobility.
The government has recognized that the HIV crisis was having an impact on development and has institute a multi-sector response to the pandemic aimed at cutting new infections in half by 2016.
ON THE GROUND
In this context, the priorities of Uniterra partners are to help prevent HIV infection, especially among the young, by changing risky behaviour through effective communication and education and to provide technical assistance and resources to partner organizations to coordinate and manage their HIV and AIDS activities better.
Partners also seek to integrate and promote equality between women and men in HIV and AIDS activities and services.
In the last few years, Uniterra’s partners have worked on national coordination and on improving management of the response to the pandemic, thereby helping strengthen their abilities to provide support and care to people affected by HIV, and they have supported implementation of a national strategy to get tertiary-level institutions actively involved in HIV issues.
UNITERRA’S PARTNERS IN BOTSWANA
- DVET: Ministry of Education and Skills Development (Department of Vocational Education and Training
- BONELA: Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV and AIDS
- BOCAIP: Botswana Christian AIDS Intervention Programme
- BONASO: Botswana Network of AIDS Service Organisations
- South African Development Community (SADC), Gender Unit
- Stepping Stones International