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close this bookA Strategic Approach Towards an AIDS-competent Society (Technical Note no.1) (UNAIDS, 2000, 9 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentStep 1 Creating AIDS competence
View the documentStep 2 The development, by consensus, of a national strategy on HIV/AIDS, based on local responses
View the documentStep 3 Appointing a national facilitator for local responses to HIV/AIDS
View the documentStep 4 Establishing a local responses support team at district level
View the documentStep 5 Understanding the epidemic and identifying key social groups
View the documentStep 6 Developing local partnerships
View the documentStep 7 Learning from action
View the documentStep 8 Sector reforms to enhance sectoral AIDS competence
View the documentStep 9 Encouraging the proliferation of AIDS competence

Step 5 Understanding the epidemic and identifying key social groups

An early task of the local responses support team will be to identify key social groups. These are groups of people who - because of their occupation or life style - may be particularly at risk of HIV infection. For their own sakes and the sake of the local society as a whole, it is vitally important that these groups are AIDS competent and that their vulnerability to HIV infection is sharply reduced. Key social groups might, for instance, involve groups of men - in particular, vulnerable groups such as truck drivers, fishermen on long-distance trawlers, and miners - women, and out-of-school or unemployed young people. The social groups themselves should participate in the exercise of mapping risk and vulnerability across the local society. Through such participation, they will become aware of the range of factors that create added risk.

Some of the techniques that can be used in this step include:

· local strategic planning
· mapping individual and group vulnerability
· selecting key groups and individuals for partnerships
· analysing the basic needs of the local society
· assessing the role of gender in the local society
· reviewing sectoral policies to check they pass the "HIV test" - enabling society to deal effectively with HIV/AIDS - and if they do not, then recommending reforms.