UNDP, UNFPA and PDHJ to Hold Training on the Challenges of HIV and AIDS in Timor-Leste

11 Jun 2013

Dili – The UNDP, UNFPA and the Provedoria for Human Rights and Justice (PDHJ) will host a training programme on HIV and AIDS in Timor-Leste and the potential human rights issues that can impact those living with the diseases. It is being held in response to growing concern on the part of the government and international health experts that the country is at serious risk of an emergent HIV epidemic. (Lee versaun Tetum iha ne'e)

The 2-day training will focus on understanding HIV and AIDS and the potential for human rights abuses for those living with the two illnesses. On Wednesday 12 June, the participants will be trained on the two interrelated illnesses: their methods of transmission, the myths vs. the facts, a statistical understanding of their incidence, prevalence and trends in Timor-Leste, as well the country’s official HIV and AIDS policies and programmes.

UNDP and the International Development and Law Organization (IDLO) will lead the programme on 13 June by discussing the different types of discrimination, both direct and indirect that those living with HIV and AIDS can face. This includes violations of their right to access to health care, right to work and access to information and privacy.

A highlight of the training programme will be a talk by Ines Lopes who works with Estrela +, an NGO advocating for greater awareness and respect for the rights of HIV positive people. Sra. Lopes will share first hand insights into the lives of those living with HIV and AIDS; how it affects their families and their work as well as the many physical and emotional challenges they must confront each day. Her talk is scheduled for 2p.m.on Thursday 13 June.

Attending the training will be PDHJ staff members, representatives from key state institutions including the MOH, Ministry for Education and the Secretary of State for Training and Employment, as well as those from HAK, Forum Timor Hari and the ISEAN-HIVOS Programme.

While in Timor-Leste, the HIV prevalence rate is less than 0.1%, figures from 2009 showed 151 cases of HIV living in the country (71 female), with 20 people dying from AIDS-related illnesses between 2004 and 2009. However a recent article in the Jornal Nasional Diario noted that between January and April 2013, a further 20 people were identified as living with HIV through the screening of blood bank donations. This is particularly significant in light of several reports that have noted that factors such as proximity to countries experiencing localised epidemics, as well as unfavourable social considerations such as cross-border migration, poor access to health services and limited public awareness increase the country’s risk of a HIV and AIDS epidemic.

The training will be held at the Legal Training Centre (Sentru Formasaun Jurídiko), starting at 08:30 on Wednesday 12th and press are welcome to attend.

About UNDP: The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the UN’s global development network, working in 177 countries and territories. In Timor-Leste, UNDP provides technical advice and assistance to build strong and capable public institutions at national and sub-national levels in justice, parliament, human rights, anti-corruption, police, economic development, environmental management and disaster risk management that bring development, peace and justice to the population and reach out to the poor and vulnerable sections of society.

Since 2006 UNDP has worked with the PDHJ to build upon the existing human rights knowledge and skills of PDHJ staff, with a focus on broadening that knowledge and developing both analysis and the application of that knowledge. Investigation, monitoring and education skills are being consolidated along with the report writing, training material development and advocacy skills.

Contact Information

Rozentina Jap Dos Santos at rozentina.dossantos@undp.org.

Contact UNDP in Timor-Leste

Media inquiries:
Jeanne Finestone, Results Management, Communications and Partnerships Officer
Phone: (+670) 7732 7211
jeanne.finestone@undp.org