The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) in collaboration with the National AIDS Secretariat organised a multi-stakeholder consultative meeting on the 24th of May to develop:
1. Annual multisectoral fast tracked work plans for each of the 6 high HIV burden districts, namely Western Area and Rural, Bombali, Tonkolili, Bo, and Kenema.
2. A position paper on how Sierra Leone will make HIV not a public health threat by 2020.
The latter is prepared specifically for the UN High Level Meeting (HLM) on AIDS scheduled for the 8-10th June in New York. The country’s delegation for the HLM will be led by the Minister of Health in company with the Director General of NAS; people living with HIV and key populations.
The HLM will focus attention on the importance of accelerating the response to HIV over the next five years and set the world on course to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as part of the SDGs. UN Member States will also adopt a Political Declaration of Commitment on Ending AIDS.
The development of annual work plans for the 6 high burden districts is the first of its kind in the country, and is done in response to fast tracking the AIDS response in the country. The activities of each of the plans are clear, measurable, achievable and funded.
The city Mayors of each of the districts will play a pivotal role in the implementation of the plans in line with Cities Initiatives. The Mayors present showed their commitment to the ending AIDS agenda by waiving off all payments related to the erection of HIV bill boards in their respective councils.