HIV-related needs in internally displaced persons and other conflict-affected populations
United Nations Joint Programme on AIDS
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
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Introduction: Conflict-induced displacement makes affected populations more vulnerable to HIV transmission. However, this vulnerability does not always necessarily translate into more HIV infections. The extent to which conflict and displacement affect HIV transmission depends upon numerouscompeting and interacting factors such as loss of livelihoods; availability of education; the type and the length of conflict; the living arrangements and conditions of internally displaced persons (IDPs), whether formal or informal settlement; the context of their new location; and access to health services, including HIV and sexual and reproductive health programs. These factors also have direct implications for HIV vulnerability. Vulnerability results from individual and societal factors that affect adversely one’s ability to exert control over one’s own health. The factors pertaining to the quality of coverage of services and programs also influence HIV vulnerability. The characteristics of the HIV epidemic, the prevalence in the local populations, the interactions with armed forces, the occurrence of sexual violence and the risk behaviours associated with the new situations conditions of IDPs directly affect the risk of HIV transmission. HIV risk is defined as the probability that a person may acquire HIV infection by, for example, unprotected sex with partners or injecting drug use with shared needles and syringes...