"Enhancement of National HIV Response with Focus on Target Beneficiary Groups in line with the fourth National Strategic Plan (NSP) 2015-2019"

 Life skills training session for school students in Marvdasht- Fars province

Updated: January 2017

What is the Project About?

In line with SDG-3 “to ensure healthy lives and promoting the well-being for all at all ages”, countless efforts have been conducted by different stakeholders to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS in the Islamic Republic of Iran during the last decade.

The project titled "Enhancement of National HIV Response with Focus on Target Beneficiary Groups aligned with the fourth National Strategic Plan (NSP) 2015-2019” is funded by the Global Fund’s New Funding Model (NFM) programme to support Iran’s response in controlling the growth of HIV/AIDS prevalence and incidence for the period 1 April 2015 – 31 March 2018 with the total budget of about US$13.1 million. Implementation of this grant started in April 2015 and is planned to run for three years. This grant is scaling up services for people who inject drugs, vulnerable women, people in prisons, people already living with HIV, people who use amphetamine type stimulants, pregnant women, students with drug problems, and working children who use drugs. 

Under the 4th HIV/AIDS National Strategic Plan 2015-2019 (NSP4), the NFM grant is implemented by a host of national and international parties through the coordination and convening services of UNDP as the Principal Recipient of the grant to achieve the following goals: 

  • By the end of 2019, HIV prevalence among people who inject drugs will remain at less than 13%.
  • By the end of 2019, HIV prevalence among those at-risk due to sexual contact will remain at less than 5%.
  • By the end of 2019, new HIV infections among newborns born to pregnant women with HIV will fall by 90%.
  • By the end of 2019, death due to AIDS will decrease by 20%.

The Global Fund is the major source of international funding to supplement the national allocations to address HIV/AIDS in line with the provisions of NSP4. The programmes supported by the Global Fund is mainly to address areas where there are technical and financial gaps in the national resources / capacities for the implementation of national strategic plans. The grants also provide seed money for new interventions to be started and then taken over and expanded by the government once the capacities are in place.

The partnership with the Global Fund started in May 2005 under the Round 2 of the Global Fund grant allocations. The project was ended in April 2010 with a six-month extension period with total expenditure of US$15.1 million. This project was dovetailed by another package of Global Fund grants with the total expenditures of US$ 26.6 million under the 8th Global Fund grant cycle (Round 8) which was completed end March 2015.

UNDP as a Principle Recipient of the Global Fund provides support in programme and financial management, procurement of pharmaceuticals, health and non-health products, and capacity building of different counterparts for successful implementation of National Programme on HIV prevention. Building on the achievements of the previous GF-supported projects. One of the most invaluable achievements of UNDP from the initial steps of partnership with HIV/AIDS stakeholders has been the establishment and reinforcement of a country dialogue through gathering all governmental bodies as well as key population’s representatives around one table to negotiate and decide in a participatory process in planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluation of the programme.

In December 2016, UNDP was informed about the Global Fund Board’s decision on allocation of the resources to be used after current grant for the period of 2018-2021 in which Iran (Islamic Republic) has been allocated US$10,687,693 for HIV and building resilient and sustainable systems for health. In this line, UNDP Iran is working with the Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) to develop a Programme Continuation Request through inclusive and evidence-informed country dialogue and based on national disease strategies and health plans and submit this plan in due course.  

So far UNDP Iran in close collaboration with partners has been able to manage US$ 54.8 million to combat HIV/AIDS in Iran. It is worth mentioning that this amount can be increased to US$ 65.5 million if the above mentioned continuation request successfully submitted and approved by the Global Fund Board.

What have we accomplished so far?

The present project is a continuation of the Round 2 and Round 8 grants under which the following main achievements have been made:

  • Contribute to review and finalization of the 2nd, 3rd and the 4th HIV/AIDS National Strategic Plans

Building resilient and sustainable systems for health through:

  • Conducting different type of assessments particularly in the areas of Monitoring and Evaluation as well as Procurement Supply Management
  • Development of different protocols, guidelines and instructions in the areas of prevention, care and treatment 
  • Strengthening HIV/AIDS surveillance system through conducting seven Bio-Behavioral Surveys among people who inject drugs, vulnerable women and prisoners since 2008
  • Conducting the first National AIDS spending Assessment (NASA)
  • Training more than 4 million health staff, teachers, school students, refugees, prisoners and their family members and other most at-risk populations;
  • Conducting harm reduction programs & voluntary counseling and testing activities in 126 facilities of prisons;
  • Continuing and expanding the harm reduction programme for people who inject drugs through 220 facilities including Drop-in-Centers and Out-reach teams;
  • Continuing and expanding the harm reduction programme for Vulnerable Women through 64 facilities including Women Centers and Out-reach teams;
  • Expanding the Rapid Diagnostic Test programme by development of related protocols, conducting training workshops as well as provision of 907,328 rapid tests; 
  • Provision of second line antiretroviral medicines for people who needed these medicine since 2005 
  • Equipping 40 voluntary counseling and testing centers with lab equipment such as CD4 count machines;
  • Launching 11 sub-national laboratories equipped with state of the art diagnostic instruments to strengthen HIV diagnosis capacity;
  • Continue and expand positive prevention activities through 25 peer support positive clubs;
  • Support Prevention of Mother to Child HIV Transmission (PMTCT) programme through provision of required rapid tests, viral load machines and related kits and also ARV medicines for 200 HIV positive pregnant women to reduce the risk of mother-to-child transmission.

The achievements of the NFM project that was started in April 2015 and is supposed to end by March 2018 are as followings:

  • 29,025 of People Who Inject Drugs (PWID) received a defined package of HIV prevention services through facilities such as Drop-in Centers and Outreach Teams.
  • 10,031 HIV Vulnerable Women received a defined package of HIV prevention services.
  • 257,328 Rapid Diagnostic Tests and required accessories procured and delivered to implementing partners subsequently 47,255 prisoners, 15,478 PWIDs, and 3,855 vulnerable women, received HIV counseling and testing services.
  • Amphetamine-Type Stimulant (ATS) users addressed for the first time through a pilot initiative in 15 provinces, and 2,618 Amphetamine-Type Stimulant (ATS) users were enrolled to receive the required education and harm reduction services out of which a total number of 2,140 ATS users were tested for HIV
  • Working children with drug problem is also another target group that covered for the first time in the project with partial support of the Global Fund grant. Provision of HIV prevention services and testing are the main interventions for this group. According to the latest reports, a total number of 2,637 working children with drug problems received the defined package of HIV prevention services out of which 854 have been tested for HIV.
  • 27,756 pregnant women in priority areas have been tested and know their HIV/AIDS status out of which 47 HIV positive pregnant women received antiretroviral drugs to reduce the risk of mother-to-child transmission and 29 infants of HIV-positive women had virological tests.
  • 7,937 adults and children received antiretroviral therapy in accordance with the nationally approved treatment protocol.
  • 5,760 registered PLHIV received psychosocial services through 25 positive clubs.
  • Four additional laboratories equipped with lab equipment such as CD4 counter machines. In addition, required tests for 36 machines which had been previously procured under the project were purchased and delivered to CDC.
  • In line with strengthening of health information system and M&E, 7 professional experts engaged to support national partners for conducting assessments, surveys, studies and development of required protocols and guidelines.

Who Finances It?

The Global Fund: US$ 13,131,823

Delivery In Previous Fiscal Year

The total 2016 delivery as of end December 2016 was US$ 3,586,452 against the total budget of US$ 3,891,682.62.

Project Highlights:

The project aims to enhance National HIV Response with Focus on Target Beneficiary Groups in line with the NSP4:

  • Prevention programmes for people who inject drugs (PWID).
  • Prevention programmes for HIV vulnerable women.
  • Prevention programmes for prisoner.
  • Prevention programmes for Amphetamine-Type Stimulant (ATS) users.
  • Prevention programmes for working children with drug problems.
  • Prevention of Mother-To Child Transmission (PMTCT).
  • Treatment, care and support for People Living with HIV and their families.
  • Prevention programmes for students with drug problems.



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