HIV/AIDS – Giving priority to prevention

Although the HIV/AIDS epidemic has stabilised overall, in certain countries the rate of infection continues to grow. Homophobia, discriminatory laws and gender-based violence undermine efforts to improve access for people affected by HIV/AIDS to the services they need. The SDC works on prevention and reducing social stigma in the global fight against HIV/AIDS.

The SDC's focus

Switzerland makes an active contribution to global efforts against HIV/AIDS by supporting international specialised agencies such as the WHO, UNAIDS, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and other international and regional organisations, associations and networks.

In its country-specific programmes, Switzerland focuses on prevention – particularly in connection with sexual and reproductive health programmes – and improving access to non-discriminatory treatment, care and support.

Non-health-related programmes also take this aspect into account in regions particularly affected by HIV/AIDS, such as the role of HIV-positive people and the impact the programme has on them and vice versa.

The SDC also supports different activities implemented by Swiss NGOs that are aimed at controlling HIV/AIDS at the international level, and assists them with networking and coordination in Switzerland.

In addition, the SDC works with the private sector and universities in this field.


Significant progress has been made in the fight against HIV/AIDS but considerable challenges remain. An estimated 37 million people in the world are living with HIV. In 2017, a tipping point was reached. For the first time, more than half of all people living with HIV received treatment, which has helped to lower the number of HIV-related deaths – by 35% between 2005 and 2014 alone. However, around 25% of all HIV-positive people are not even aware of their infection, which is why they do not seek treatment. Nonetheless, the number of new cases between 1996 and 2017 went down by 47% – although this figure has stagnated since then and another 1.7 million people became infected in 2017. The stigma and discrimination faced by HIV-positive people and population groups particularly affected by HIV/AIDS remains a huge challenge. It hinders effective prevention and access to treatment and HIV-related healthcare.

Switzerland made a significant contribution to the development of psychosocial support services for children and young people affected by HIV/AIDS in a number of southern African countries, which is helping to reduce discrimination and improve their prospects for the future.


Mainstreaming HIV in practice
A toolkit with a collection of resources, checklists and examples on CD Rom for SDC and its partners
[en] (PDF, Number of pages 93, 9.9 MB, English)

United Nation's Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS
United Nations General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS, 25-27 June 2001
[en] (PDF, Number of pages 52, 684.8 kB)

[fr] (PDF, 684.8 kB)
[es] (PDF, Number of pages 53, 683.4 kB)

SDC HIV and AIDS Community of Practice
[en] (PDF, Number of pages 3, 801.0 kB, English)

Mainstreaming: A Response to HIV and AIDS in Humanitarian Assistance
[en] (PDF, Number of pages 3, 151.7 kB, English)

The Media in Education Trust Africa
[en] (PDF, Number of pages 3, 138.4 kB, English)

Parliamentarians for Global Action
[en] (PDF, Number of pages 3, 129.3 kB, English)

The Regional Psychosocial Support Initiative
[en] (PDF, Number of pages 4, 331.5 kB, English)

Technical Assistance for the World Food Programme's HIV and AIDS Response
[en] (PDF, 315.5 kB, English)

SDC Support for SolidarMed's Antiretroviral Treatment Project (Smart)
[en] (PDF, Number of pages 3, 169.4 kB, English)

A focus on psychosocial support
Africa Brief - November 2010
[en] (PDF, Number of pages 8, 1.2 MB, English)

Current projects

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Contribution de programme à la plate-forme de Medicus Mundi Suisse (MMS)

01.01.2016 - 31.12.2019

Medicus Mundi Suisse regroupe 53 organisations non-gouvernementales suisses de coopération internationale qui travaillent dans le domaine de la santé. Ce réseau est mandaté par ses membres pour améliorer la qualité de leur travail en favorisant échange et capitalisation d’expériences. Il s’efforce aussi de sensibiliser le public suisse sur le droit à la santé. Sur la base de l’expérience de ses membres il contribue au dialogue sur les questions de santé globale avec les partenaires suisses et internationaux.

Contribution to UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS

01.01.2016 - 31.12.2019

HIV/AIDS continues to be a global public health and development challenge. UNAIDS is well positioned to guide and coordinate the global HIV/AIDS response through the provision of strategic information, analyses and political advocacy and leadership. UNAIDS contributes to prevent and reduce new HIV infections, AIDS related deaths and related stigma and discrimination. As such, UNAIDS significantly contributes to the SDG target of ending the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat by 2030.

Regional Psychosocial Support Initiative (REPSSI)

01.01.2016 - 30.06.2020

The Regional Psychosocial Support Initiative (REPSSI) supports policy development and provides technical support for the improvement of psychosocial wellbeing and mental wellness of children and young people to mitigate the negative impact of HIV and AIDS, poverty, and other vulnerabilities. It provides technical assistance to governments and non-governmental organizations to integrate and implement psychosocial support into social services, health and education in East and southern Africa.

Strengthening institutional capacity for treatment and care for HIV/AIDS patients

01.01.2016 - 31.12.2019

Swiss Aids Care International (SACI) runs a nurse led family centred clinic in Harare that offers comprehensive treatment, care and support of high quality to poor people infected by HIV. SACI trains nurses to take over clinical tasks previously reserved to doctors only to address the huge shortage on health services in Zimbabwe. SACI also develops and applies an efficient electronic medical record system. A recent external review rated SACI as a centre of excellence.

International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF)

01.01.2016 - 31.12.2019

Despite progress made, major gaps still exist to fully realize sexual and reproductive health and rights for all. IPPF, through its 147 member associations in over 170 countries, is among the leading non-governmental organisations globally active in advocacy and service delivery to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights. As such, IPPF contributes to the implementation of the International Conference on Population and Development and the Agenda 2030.

ESTHER (Ensemble pour une Solidarité Thérapeutique Hospitalière En Réseau)

01.03.2015 - 31.10.2019

Switzerland contributes to improve the quality of health services and the health of the populations in Low and Middle Income Countries through institutional health partnerships. Switzerland offers its health expertise by twinning Swiss health institutions, mainly hospitals and research institutes, with the same type of institutions and by focusing on the area of sexual and reproductive health including HIV/AIDS. These institutional partnerships are embedded within the framework of the European ESTHER Alliance.

Strengthening Social Accountability and Oversight in Health and Agriculture

01.11.2014 - 30.06.2019

This project aims to contribute to the equitable, effective and accountable allocation and use of public resources for health and agriculture in SADC countries by addressing social accountability in a systemic approach in strengthening the roles of relevant parliamentary committees, civil society organizations, smallholder farmer organisations and the media. The first phase of the project will focus on Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia.

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