3.1 IASC’s Guidelines for HIV/AIDS interventions in emergency settings

Sectoral response Emergency preparedness Minimum response (to be conducted even in the middle of an emergency) Comprehensive response(Stabilised phase)



  • Determine coordination structures, including the presence of a Health Cluster.
  • Identify and list partners (including local government).
  • Establish network of resource persons.
  • Raise funds.
  • Prepare contingency plans.
  • Include HIV/AIDS in humanitarian action plans and train relief workers accordingly.
  • Coordinate response through the Health Cluster, if present in-country.  If not, establish coordination mechanism.
  • Continue fundraising.
  • Strengthen networks.
  • Enhance information sharing.
  • Build human capacity.
  • Link emergency to development HIV action.
  • Work with authorities.
  • Assist government and non-state entities to promote and protect human rights.
Assessment and monitoring
  • Conduct capacity and situation analysis.
  • Develop indicators and tools, or use existing tools as appropriate (i.e. MISP, Health Cluster’s IRA and HeRAMs tools).
  • Involve local institutions and beneficiaries.
  • Assess baseline data.
  • Maintain database.
  • Set up and manage a shared database.
  • Monitor and evaluate all programmes.
  • Assess data on prevalence, knowledge, attitudes and practice, and impact of HIV/AIDS.
  • Monitor activities.
  • Draw lessons from evaluations.
  • Review existing protection laws and policies.
  • Promote human rights and best practices.
  • Ensure that humanitarian activities minimise the risk of sexual violence and exploitation, and HIV-related discrimination.
  • Train uniformed forces and humanitarian workers on HIV/AIDS and sexual violence.
  • Prevent and respond to sexual violence and exploitation.
  • Involve authorities to reduce HIV-related discrimination.
  • Protect orphans and separated children.
  • Expand prevention and response to sexual violence and exploitation.
  • Strengthen protection for orphans, separated children and young people.
  • Ensure access to condoms for peacekeepers, and military and humanitarian staff.
  • Institutionalise training for uniformed forces on HIV/AIDS, sexual violence and exploitation, and non-discrimination.
  • Put in place HIV-related services for demobilised personnel.
  • Strengthen IDP/refugee response.
  • Provide (or refer) post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP)
  • (Refer also to Chapter 8.5 Health)
Water and sanitation
  • Train staff on HIV/AIDS, sexual violence, gender and non-discrimination.
  • Include HIV considerations in water/ sanitation planning.
  • Establish water/sanitation management committees.
  • Organise awareness campaigns on hygiene and sanitation, and target people affected by HIV.
Food security and nutrition
  • Undertake contingency planning/preposition supplies.
  • Train staff on special needs of HIV/AIDS-affected populations.
  • Include information about nutritional care and support of PLWHA in community nutrition education programmes.
  • Support food security of HIV/AIDS-affected households.
  • Target food aid to affected and at-risk households and communities.
  • Plan nutrition and food needs for populations with high HIV prevalence.
  • Promote appropriate care and feeding practices for PLWHA.
  • Support and protect food security of HIV/AIDS-affected and at-risk households and communities.
  • Distribute food aid to affected households and communities.
  • Develop strategies to protect long-term food security of HIV-affected people.
  • Develop strategies and target vulnerable groups for agricultural extension programmes.
  • Collaborate with community and home-based care programmes to provide nutritional support.
  • Assist the government to fulfil its obligation to respect the human right to food.
Shelter and site planning
  • Ensure safety of potential sites.
  • Train staff on HIV/AIDS, gender and non-discrimination.
  • Establish safely designed sites.
  • Plan the orderly movement of displaced persons.
  • Map current services and practices.
  • Plan and stock medical and reproductive health (RH) supplies.
  • Adapt/develop protocols.
  • Train health personnel.
  • Plan quality assurance mechanisms.
  • Train staff on the issue of sexual and GBV and the link with HIV/AIDS.
  • Determine prevalence of injecting drug use.
  • ¨ Develop instruction leaflets on cleaning injecting materials.
  • Map and support prevention and care initiatives.
  • Train staff and peer educators.
  • Train health staff on RH issues linked with emergencies and the use of RH kits.
  • Assess current practices in the application of universal precautions.
  • Ensure access to basic health care for the most vulnerable.
  • Ensure a safe blood supply.
  • Provide male and female condoms.
  • Institute syndromic STI treatment.
  • Continue ARV treatment as soon as possible for those already on ARVs
  • Ensure Intravenous Drug User (IDU) appropriate care.
  • Manage the consequences of sexual violence.
  • Ensure safe deliveries.
  • Raise awareness of prevention and treatment services for STIs/HIV.
  • Ensure adherence to universal precautions.
  • Forecast longer-term needs: secure regular supplies and ensure appropriate training of the staff.
  • Provide palliative care and home-based care.
  • Treatment of opportunistic infections and tuberculosis control programmes.
  • Provide anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment.
  • Ensure safe blood transfusion services.
  • Provide family planning services and continue to provide condoms.
  • Manage STI, including condoms.
  • Provide comprehensive sexual violence programmes.
  • Control drug trafficking in camp settings.
  • Use peer educators to provide counselling and education on risk reduction strategies.
  • Provide voluntary counselling and testing.
  • Provide reproductive health services for young people.
  • Prevent mother-to-child transmission.
  • Enable/monitor/reinforce universal precautions in health care.
  • Determine emergency education options for boys and girls.
  • Train teachers on HIV/AIDS, and sexual violence and exploitation.
  • Ensure children’s access to education.
  • Educate girls and boys (formal and non-formal).
  • Provide life skills-based HIV/AIDS education.
  • Monitor and respond to sexual violence and exploitation in educational settings.
Behaviour change
communicationand information education
  • Prepare culturally appropriate messages in local languages.
  • Prepare a basic Behaviour Change Communication/ Information, Education Communication (BCC/IEC) strategy.
  • Involve key beneficiaries.
  • Conduct awareness campaigns.
  • Store key documents outside potential emergency areas.
  • Provide information on HIV/AIDS prevention and care.
  • Scale-up BCC/IEC.
  • Monitor and evaluate activities.
HIV/AIDS in theworkplace
  • Review personnel policies regarding the management of People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) who work in humanitarian operations.
  • Develop policies when there are none, aimed at minimising the potential for discrimination.
  • Stock materials for PEP.
  • Prevent discrimination by HIV status in staff management.
  • Build capacity of supporting groups for PLWHA and their families.
  • Establish workplace policies to eliminate discrimination against PLWHA.
  • Provide PEP for humanitarian staff.
  • Provide PEP for all humanitarian workers on a regular basis.

Source: IASC 2004. Guidelines for HIV/AIDS interventions in emergency settings.