The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) has been engaged in issues relating to HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) for the past 15 years. Its position has evolved according to the needs of the Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs) and in response to emerging trends in HIV and related issues.


SPC’s initial response, aimed at increasing awareness, has progressed dramatically over the years and the organisation is now responsible for coordinating and monitoring the implementation of the Pacific Regional Strategy on HIV and other STIs 2009–2013. The strategy’s implementation plan (PRSIP II) is endorsed by the Pacific Islands Forum and the Pacific Community and links multiple partners and 22 PICTs.

 

The HIV & STI team has grown signficantly over the past few years as a result of the momentum gained through the regional response to HIV and other STIs. There is now a staff of approximately 25 people working from offices located in Noumea, Suva and Pohnpei.

 

  • Further information can be found here

 

This expansion reflects the need to respond to issues relating to HIV and other STIs in order to prevent the region from following the pattern of other countries. Recent surveillance data show that the Pacific region - excluding Papua New Guinea - still has a low prevalence of HIV, however research also shows high rates of other STIs, which means significant risk behaviours exist, with the potential for the rapid spread of HIV, thus rendering the region vulnerable to an HIV epidemic.

The team's work is funded through core SPC funds, AusAID, NZAID, the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the Asian Development Bank and the Government of France. Technical areas of support are aligned to PRSIP II - Treatment, Care & Counselling; Surveillance; Prevention; and Programme Management & Development.

 

  • Further information can be found here

 

SPC works in close collaboration with the partner agencies that are engaged in the implementation of the Regional Strategy on HIV and other STIs, including UN agencies, the World Council of Churches Pacific Office and the Pacific Islands AIDS Foundation. The challenges of implementing the regional strategy are considerable given the varying socio-economic conditions and levels of political commitment of PICTs. Dealing with multiple partner agencies also brings challenges, as each agency has its own strengths, weaknesses and regional mandate, however we are reaching a better understanding of the situation of HIV and other STIs in the Pacific, and SPC’s HIV & STI team will continue to evolve accordingly.

 

 

 

 

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