COVID-19 made HIV victims’ lives more difficult immediately.

UNAIDS Country Director for Iran Fardad Doroudi observed, “Those with weaker immune systems needed extra attention.” No HIV patient should be left behind.

UNAIDS provided a community-based monitoring and evaluation system, personal protective equipment (PPE), and drugs during COVID-19. Funding for non-profits was limited (NGOs).

To avoid COVID-19, the population is advised to wear masks, shields, gloves, and use sanitizer. The Ministry of Health and Medical Education as well as the State Welfare Organization received 95 tons of personal protective equipment from UNAIDS. Items that have been distributed: 1.8 million masks, 60k hand sanitizer bottles, and 40k latex gloves.

HIV patients are given multi-month supplies of antiretroviral treatment in order to reduce the frequency of medical visits. Those initiatives were bolstered by UNAIDS’ work in Iran.

To treat 7,000 HIV patients for three months, UNAIDS purchased 650000 Vonavir pills and 520000 Truvada tablets, respectively. Almost 10,000 patients were cared for in national treatment centers.

Twenty-six small grants were awarded to ten HIV nongovernmental organizations to help HIV patients cope with COVID-19. As a result of the funding, income creation, home care, online commerce services, mental health support and e-learning programs are supported.

UNAIDS provided COVID-19/AIDS patients with educational and communication resources. The cartoons produced by a local NGO were made possible thanks to support from the United States government’s AIDS program and UNAIDS. The 16-minute animated series addresses HIV prevention, treatment, stigma, and prejudice, as well as the COVID-19 vaccine. The videos have been viewed by more than 15,000 people.

An evaluation method used by UNAIDS is based on the needs of the local community. This was a joint effort between the government and the general public.

More than two hundred people with HIV and those who care for them have enrolled in an online course. COVID-19 monitoring and assessment for non-governmental organizations were among the topics discussed. The goal of the national strategic plan is to improve HIV monitoring and assessment.

Mr. Doroudi emphasized the importance of forging close relationships and working together with like-minded organizations. Donors, national counterparts, and UN agencies all pitched in during the COVID-19 outbreak to provide assistance to HIV-positive patients.

Humanitarian funding from the EU helped to fund the response to COVID-19 by UNAIDS, which was overseen by UNICEF. Project collaborators included the State Welfare Organization and the Ministry of Health and Medical Education of Iran.

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