Continuation of 5.7

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5.7.2. Minimum reproductive health and HIV standards for emergencies

a. Emergency phase

Humanitarian standards define a package of minimum initial services that includes activities designed to reduce morbidity and mortality related to reproductive health in emergencies. They include:

  • Ensuring a safe blood supply
  • Implementing universal precautions
  • Guaranteeing free condoms
  • Addressing prevention and management of sexual violence
  • Planning comprehensive reproductive health services, including a specific analysis of the HIV/AIDS situation.

b. Post-emergency phase

The post-emergency phase will require additional plans and strategies for prevention and care, depending on the affected communities’ situation (shelter, resettlement, return to dwellings) and the degree of stability and safety present. In any case, interventions should address the factors that create vulnerability to HIV: coverage and quality of prevention, care, support services, individual behavior, and social and cultural context.

5.7.3. Prevention, protection and control

Some basic measures to reduce the exposure of the population include:

a. Creating awareness, providing information, and educating

  • Assign personnel to work directly with the community to increase awareness and build community support.
  • Sensitize the population to the fact that emergencies increase the risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections and inform people on how to protect themselves.
  • Disseminate culturally appropriate messages on the prevention and treatment of HIV, on preventing gender violence, and on whatever services can be made available to the population throughout the various phases of the emergency.
  • At all times carry educational materials on reproductive health actions that people should implement, using the materials for health promotion.

b. Measures for safety and protection

  • Measures measures to provide protection from human rights violations that are related to HIV.
  • Protect the population from gender violence, with special emphasis on orphans, boys, girls, and young people who are alone or separated from their parents, as well as other vulnerable people.
  • Promote the prevention of sexual aggression (mainly against women, boys, and older and disabled adults) in the home, in public spaces and roadways, and in temporary shelters.
  • Ensure that latex condoms and water-soluble lubricants are available for distribution in medical units, shelters, and temporary refuges.
  • Read more about this in the IASC guidelines for addressing HIV in humanitarian settings.