Continuation of 5.7.

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5.7.4. Care of people with HIV

The impact of disasters tends to be worse for HIV-positive people, who are likely to suffer more intensely from an interruption of the drug supply, food scarcity, lack of basic services, and other deteriorating conditions that can accelerate the progress of the illness.

a. Health services

Measures that the health sector should adopt to prevent transmission and provide care and support for the people with HIV during response include:

  • Preventing HIV transmission in health care contexts and facilities.
  • Providing condoms of good quality.
  • Providing post-exposure prophylaxis in cases of occupational and non-occupational exposure.
  • Treating sexually-transmitted infections.
  • Preventing mother-to-child transmission.
  • Providing care for people suffering from HIV-related illnesses.
  • Providing antiretroviral therapy to those who need it.
  • Providing basic health care and support for the key populations that are at greatest risk of HIV exposure.

b. Food security, nutrition, and support for subsistence

  • Allocate and distribute specific food assistance to communities and families affected by HIV.
  • Insofar as possible, include HIV and HIV-prevention awareness in large-scale food distribution activities.
  • Include information on nutritional care and support for seropositive individuals in community nutritional education programs.

c. Water, sanitation and hygiene

  • Ensure that people living with HIV and their caregivers have access to water of an appropriate and sufficient quantity and quality, and to health services.
  • Provide information and support for people with HIV and their caregivers, with clear instructions on how to take care of the chronically ill in an emergency area and how to obtain additional materials for hygiene (where available).
  • Ensure that the design of water and sanitation facilities provides for easy access by all users.
  • Incorporate messages on HIV prevention in water, sanitation, and hygiene programs to dispel myths and other misinformation regarding HIV, AIDS, and contaminated water.

5.7.5. HIV in the workplace

  • Implement programs on HIV in the workplace, as well as policies and standards to guarantee that assistance activities do not contribute accidentally to the HIV epidemic.
  • Give personnel training that includes HIV information and education, including how to get counseling services, tests, treatment, and support.
  • Inform all personnel on existing codes of conduct and zero-tolerance policies concerning sexual exploitation and abuse of beneficiaries.
  • Make condoms (male and female), post-exposure prophylaxis kits and access to other services available to all staff discreetly and economically.