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close this bookImpact of HIV and AIDS on Families and Children (UNDP, 1997, 5 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentINTRODUCTION
View the documentHIV & CHILDREN
View the documentHIV & PARENTS
View the documentHIV & YOUNG WOMEN
View the documentCONCLUSION


I have told you some things that I could about the impact of AIDS on children and families in Zambia. Now I will return home to be with my two young sons in a country where only a tiny few can dream of DDI and AZT. Thank you for a stay in a luxury hotel which costs the equivalent of three years rent for me. Thank you for a club class air ticket, the cost of which would feed my children from now until they reach adulthood, God willing. And thank you very much for listening.


This paper was first presented at the XI International Conference on AIDS, Vancouver, July 7-12, 1996


Language and the images it evokes shape and influence behaviour and attitudes. The words used locate the speaker with respect to others, distancing or including them, setting up relations of authority or of partnership, and affect the listeners in particular ways, empowering or disempowering, estranging or persuading, and so on. The use of language is an ethical and a programmatic issue.

UNDP has adopted the following principles to guide its HIV-related language.

Language should be inclusive and not create and reinforce a Them/Us mentality or approach. For example, a term like “intervention” places the speaker outside of the group of people for or with whom he or she is working. Words like “control” set up a particular type of distancing relationship between the speaker and the listeners. Care should be taken with the use of the pronouns “they”, “you”, “them”, etc.

It is better if the vocabulary used is drawn from the vocabulary of peace and human development rather than from the vocabulary of war. For example, synonyms could be found for words like “campaign”, “control”, “surveillance”, etc.

Descriptive terms used should be those preferred or chosen by persons described. For example, “sex workers” is often the term preferred by those concerned rather than “prostitutes”; “people living with HIV” or “people living with AIDS” are preferred by infected persons rather than “victims”.

Language should be value neutral, gender sensitive and should be empowering rather than disempowering. Terms such as “promiscuous”, “drug abuse” and all derogatory terms alienate rather than create the trust and respect required. Terms such as “victim” or “sufferer” suggest powerlessness; “haemophiliac” or “AIDS patient” identify a human being by their medical condition alone. “Injecting drug users” is used rather than “drug addicts”. Terms such as “living with HIV” recognize that an infected person may continue to live well and productively for many years.

Terms used need to be strictly accurate. For example, “AIDS” describes the conditions and illnesses associated with significant progression of infection. Otherwise, the terms used include “HIV infection”, “HIV epidemic”, “HIV-related illnesses or conditions”, etc. “Situation of risk” is used rather than “risk behaviour” or “risk groups”, since the same act may be safe in one situation and unsafe in another. The safety of the situation has to be continually assessed.

The terms used need to be adequate to inform accurately. For example, the modes of HIV transmission and the options for protective behaviour change need to be explicitly stated so as to be clearly understood within all cultural contexts.

The appropriate use of language respects the dignity and rights of all concerned, avoids contributing to the stigmatisation and rejection of the affected and assists in creating the social changes required to overcome the epidemic.



RECOGNIZING the impact that the HIV epidemic is having on all aspects of human life;

RECOGNIZING the need for an urgent response;

RECOGNIZING that the fundamental value of respect for human rights, life and human dignity provides the foundation on which all is built,

WE, the participants at the Intercountry Consultation of the African Network on Ethics, Law and HIV, affirm that any action, whether personal, institutional, professional or governmental, in response to the HIV epidemic, should be guided by the following principles:

THE PRINCIPLE OF RESPONSIBILITY: Every person, government, community, institution, private enterprise and medium must be aware of his or her responsibility and must exercise it in an active and sustainable manner.

THE PRINCIPLE OF ENGAGEMENT: Every person is affected, directly or indirectly, and therefore should respond with commitment, concern, courage and hope for the future.

THE PRINCIPLE OF PARTNERSHIP AND CONSENSUS-BUILDING: All persons, couples, families, communities and nations must work together with compassion to build and share a common vision. These partnerships must reflect and actively promote solidarity, inclusion, integration, dialogue, participation and harmony

THE PRINCIPLE OF EMPOWERMENT: The empowerment of every person, but particularly women, the poor, the uneducated and children, is essential and must guide all action. Empowerment requires recognition of the right to knowledge, information and technology, freedom of choice and economic opportunity.

THE PRINCIPLE OF NON-DISCRIMINATION: Every person directly affected by the epidemic should remain an integral part of his or her community, with the right of equal access to work, housing, education and social services, with the right to marry, with freedom of movement, belief and association, with the right to counselling, care and treatment, justice and equality.

THE PRINCIPLE OF CONFIDENTIALITY AND PRIVACY: Every person directly affected by the epidemic has a right to confidentiality and privacy. It can only be breached in exceptional circumstances.

THE PRINCIPLE OF ADAPTATION: Every person and community should change and adapt social and cultural conditions to the new challenges of the epidemic in order to respond effectively.

THE PRINCIPLE OF SENSITIVITY IN LANGUAGE: Language should uphold human dignity, reflect inclusion, be gender sensitive, accurate and understandable.

THE PRINCIPLE OF ETHICS IN RESEARCH: The interests of the research subjects or communities should be paramount. Research should be based on free and informed consent, be non-obtrusive and non-coercive, and the results should be made available to the community for timely and appropriate action.

THE PRINCIPLE OF PROHIBITION OF MANDATORY HIV TESTING: HIV testing without consent should be prohibited. HIV testing should also not be a pre-requisite for access to work, travel or other services.

This Declaration was drafted and endorsed by participants at the Intercountry Consultation of the African Network on Ethics, Law and HIV, organized in Dakar, Senegal, from 27 June to 1st July 1994, by the UNDP HIV and Development Programme (Dakar and New York). Participants came from Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia, the WHO Global Programme on AIDS, the WHO Regional Office for Africa, the UNDP Management Development and Governance Division, the UNDP HIV and Development Project in Asia and the Pacific, the Asian and Latin American Networks on Law, Ethics and HIV, the African Council of AIDS Service Organizations (AFRICASO), the Association of African Jurists (AJA), ENDA Tiers Monde, the Network of African People Living with HIV/AIDS (NAP+), the Organisation Pan-Africaine de Lutte contre le SIDA (OPALS) and ORSTOM.

Some of the documents listed below are available on the HIV and Development Programme World Wide Web Page:

Issues Papers

1. The HIV Epidemic and Development: The Unfolding of the Epidemic, 1992 (Also available in French, Spanish)

2. The Economic Impact of the HIV Epidemic, 1992 (Also available in French, Spanish)

3. Female Genital Health and the Risk of HIV Transmission, 1991 (Also available in French)

4. People Living with HIV: The Law, Ethics and Discrimination, 1992 (Also available in French, Spanish)

5. Sharing the Challenge of the HIV Epidemic: Building Partnerships, 1992 (Also available in French)

6. Placing Women at the Centre of the Analysis, 1990 (Also available in French, Spanish)

7. Behaviour Change in Response to the HIV Epidemic: Some Analogies and Lessons from the Experience of Gay Communities, 1991 (Also available in French)

8. Women, the HIV Epidemic and Human Rights: A Tragic Imperative, 1991 (Also available in French)

9. “A Tora Mousso Kele La” A Call Beyond Duty: Often Omitted Root Causes of Maternal Mortality in West Africa, 1991

10. Gender, Knowledge and Responsibility, 1992

11. The Role of the Law in HIV and AIDS Policy, 1991 (Also available in French)

12. Young Women: Silence, Susceptibility and the HIV Epidemic, 1992 (Also available in French, Spanish)

13. Children in Families Affected by the HIV Epidemic: A Strategic Approach, 1993 (Also available in French)

14. Approaching the HIV Epidemic, 1993

15. HIV and the Challenges Facing Men, 1995

16. Development Practice and the HIV Epidemic, 1995

17. Development as a Moral Concept: Women’s Practices as Development Practices, 1994

18. Meanings of Sustainability for HIV Programmes: From Financial Independence to Long Term Behaviour Change, 1995

19. Living With HIV, 1994

20. HIV Prevention in Multicultural Contexts, 1996

21. Women and HIV: Our Silences and Our Strengths, 1995

22. The Impact of HIV on Families and Children, 1996

23. HIV Epidemic and Development in Nicaragua, 1996

24. What Constitutes Effective IEC Programmes?, 1997

25. Neurological Disorders of HIV Infection and AIDS in Africa: Clinical Diagnosis, Treatment and Care, 1997

26. National Strategic Planning and the HIV Epidemic, 1996

Books and Monographs

1. Development and the HIV Epidemic: A Forward Looking Evaluation of the Approach of the UNDP HIV and Development Programme, United Nations Development Programme, 1996 (Also available in French)

2. HIV & AIDS: The Global Inter-Connection, United Nations Development Programme, 1995. Published by Kumarian Press, Inc., available at book sellers in the U.S. and distributed by the HIV and Development Programme to developing countries.

3. The Feeling of Infinity; 1993. Published by the National Library of Australia, Canberra.

Study Papers

1. The HIV Epidemic in Uganda: A Programme Approach, 1993

2. The Socio-Economic Impact of HIV and AIDS on Rural Families in Uganda, 1994

3. Wheeling and Dealing: HIV and Development on the Shan State Borders of Myanmar, 1994

4. Other Ways of Doing Things, 1994

Working Papers

1. Some Thoughts on Women and HIV

Why Women and HIV? It Takes Two to Tango, Safely, 1992
Young Women and the HIV Epidemic, 1990
Women, HIV and Development, 1989

2. Some Ethical Issues of the HIV Epidemic

Lost Souls, 1989
Towards an Ethical Response to the HIV Epidemic, 1994 (Also available in French)
Care Research and Ethics, 1995 (Also available in French)

3. Behaviour Change: A Central Issue in the Response to the HIV Epidemic, Informal Consultation Report, Dakar, Senegal, December 1991

4. Challenges for UNDP in a Changing World 1990-2000: Social Trends, 1991

5. HIV Coordination at the United Nations, 1992

6. HIV and Development in Africa, 1993 (Also available in French)

7. The Linkages Amongst Population, Development, Women and the HIV Epidemic, 1994

8. Mainstreaming Policy and Programming Responses to the HIV Epidemic, 1995

10. Rwanda: Did the HIV Epidemic contribute?, 1994

UNDP HIV and Development Information Kit

· Legal and Ethical Networking: Enabling a Community Response, 1996

· African Network on Ethics, Law and HIV: Dakar Declaration, 1994 (poster)

· Law, Ethics and Human Rights: Cebu Statement, Philippines, 1993 (poster)

· Statement of Belief on Behaviour Change: Saly Portudal, Senegal, 1991 (poster)

· UNDP Guiding Principles on HIV & AIDS, 1991 (poster)

· The Challenge of the HIV Epidemic, 1991

· Workshop on the Development Dimensions of the HIV Epidemic, 1993

· United Nations Volunteers. The Role of UNV Specialists in HIV/AIDS-Related Work: A Community-Oriented Programme Approach, 1992

· UN HIV/AIDS Personnel Policy, 1993

· Role of UNDP in Combating HIV/AIDS: Policy Framework for the Response of UNDP to HIV/AIDS (DP/1991/57), 1991

· UNDP HIV-Related Language Policy, 1992

Contents available separately or as a complete kit. Available in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic & Russian.

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United Nations Development Programme
HIV and Development Programme

The UNDP HIV and Development programme draws together UNDP’s headquarters, regional and country programming and other initiatives designed to strengthen the capacity of nations and organizations to respond effectively to the HIV epidemic. The activities covered in this programme include:

· establishing priority needs through consultations with those directly affected by the epidemic;

· national capacity building through field missions, consultations and HIV and development workshops on multisectoral programme development and coordination;

· development of gender-sensitive and community-based approaches through pilot programmes, consultations, workshops and publications;

· multisectoral policy development and advocacy through intercountry consultations, colloquia, the establishment of regional networks (legal, economic, for example), publications and technical assistance;

· programme development through workshops and facilitated study tours which explore innovative ways of increasing and measuring programme effectiveness and sustainability;

· mainstreaming HIV in key programming areas, for example, in village self-help schemes, food security systems, regional planning approaches, etc., through studies, workshops, training and technical assistance;

· establishing operational research priorities relevant to effective and sustainable programme and policy development and evaluation through colloquia, commissioned reviews and consultations; and

· mobilising and coordinating the response of the UN system and other players at the national level to maximise the effectiveness of their support for the national response to the epidemic.

The work of the UNDP HIV and Development programme is coordinated within the UN system by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). The HIV and Development Programme was established by the UNDP Governing Council and its mandate is contained in its Policy Framework and Guiding Principles (DP/I 991/57). UNDP works in close collaboration with UNAIDS and other multilateral and bilateral agencies, national governments, non-governmental and community based organizations, and academic and private sector institutions to contribute towards an effective, sustainable and coordinated response to the HIV epidemic.