National Aids Control Program In Lebanon
The NAP is currently involved in several projects:
The Voluntary Counseling and Testing
VCT is an ongoing activity whereby the NAP team trains health care workers and nurses from various NGO’s, health centers and clinics on VCT service delivery. This activity is done,with the support of UN agencies including UNICEF and WHO.The duration of the training is 8-days.These VCT workshops help to develop new capacities for VCT services, thus increasing the availability and spread of VCT centers all around Lebanon. The service offers: Information and brochures about HIV/AIDS and STIs, Pre- test counseling, testing and post test counseling in a private anonymous setting, in addition to referral to the needed health care and social services.
KABP(knowledge, Attitude, behavior and Practices) is being conducted with NAP being the principal user. This new KABP survey is being organized in collaboration with UNFPA and UNICEF and executed by La Sagesse University. The aim of this study is to give a clear description of the Lebanese population in relation to the knowledge about HIV/AIDS, the prevalence of the different risky sexual practices (multiple partners, commercial sex and condom use) and the prevalent attitudes toward people living with HIV/AIDS.
Center for the distribution of HIV/AIDS medications
As a step towards reducing stigma and discrimination associated with People living with HIV/AIDS, the NAP opened a center for the distribution of HIV/AIDS medications; a center that is independent of the Ministry’s dispensary. The NAP dispensary team always provides a continuous follow up with the drug companies to insure continuous sustainability and availability of treatment for people living with HIV/AIDS.
Drop in center (DIC)
In coordination with UNODC and specialized NGO’s like SIDC, SKOUN and AJEM, the NAP opened a drop in center (DIC) to host people who use drugs especially injecting and other high risk groups. The DIC is a place where beneficiaries feel comfortable and are given awareness and education sessions. Also they can use the VCT facility that exist in the DIC and later on if needed can be referred to more specialized services. This DIC is a pioneer in the region and Lebanon and plans are being put to later in open in other geographical area in Lebanon.
Guidelines of Opiates Substitution Therapy (OST)
Participation in international and regional workshops
NAP is engaging in several international and regional workshops and activities as a step to build its team’s capacity and to share knowledge and experience. NAP was involved in the HARM Reduction conference in Lebanon in April, by sharing and submitting a poster on its IBBS survey conducted among the MARPS (Most at risk population) in Lebanon. NAP represented Lebanon in the Global Human Rights on HIV/AIDS forum Geneva and also presented a poster on MARPS at the Harm Reduction Conference in Vienna. The NAP is also participating in workshops related to size estimations as a step to have a size estimation studies for the MARPS.
National Strategic Plan (NSP)
With support of some UN agencies like WHO, UNICEF, UNDP, WORLD BANK AND UNFPA, and in coordination with civil society, NAP is currently developing a new National Strategic Plan (NSP) to fight HIV/AIDS for the coming three years. This includes all kinds of activities from prevention, treatment, to care and support with a special focus on Prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) and the most at risk population.
NAP is constantly raising awareness lectures to the young generation through lectures in schools and universities. As a part of this activity, NAP participated in the E-learning program implemented by the WHO. The aim of this project was to develop an e-learning CD where teachers and students can learn about HIV/AIDS, ways of transmission and treatment and to know all the information related to HIV/AIDS. The NAP team along with the WHO conducted more than 100 awareness lectures in all the public schools in all the different regions in Lebanon to raise awareness on the importance of HIV/AIDS. The lectures targeted health/ life science teachers on HIV/AIDS and staff provide them with necessary tools to introduce that topic in their school curriculum.
Along with the e-learning activity, the NAP participated in many open days at different universities as part of their health awareness day as a step towards raising awareness on HIV/AIDS issues.
UNDP Lebanon supported the re -launching of the MOPH website by providing assistance through a project officer. UNDP is also collaborating with the NAP in its work with religious leaders, the media and civil society. Our aim is increasing awareness within the community while decreasing HIV/AIDS related stigma and discrimination, and improving the rights of people living with HIV.