Policy, advocacy and stakeholder mobilization


An enabling policy environment comprehensively addresses political, economic, social, legal and health issues so that people will not feel discouraged about learning their status. Such issues form the environment in which efforts to combat HIV/AIDS take place. The ways in which these issues are engaged can either enable or disable HIV counselling and testing services to a marked degree. The development of enabling policies aims to guide and support the implementation of HIV counselling and testing services.

The issues discussed in this section include:

  • building and maintaining political commitment, including commitment to the mobilization of resources, and the mobilization of commitment among community members;
  • involving and coordinating a range of stakeholders;
  • ensuring increased involvement of people with HIV;
  • promoting a rights-based approach to HIV counselling and testing;
  • the regulatory environment affecting medical supplies, including laboratory and prevention commodities;
  • health sector policies.

Policy development for HIV testing and counselling services must be addressed at the operational, national and international levels. While national and international policy frameworks and advocacy are an essential background to testing and counselling services at the national level, they have an equal and complementary role at the local implementation level in engaging stakeholders, mobilizing resources, challenging legal frameworks, addressing issues of equity and social justice, and harmonizing services within specific areas. Policy and advocacy are necessary for creating and maintaining motivation and support for satisfactory quality in service delivery, e.g. through accreditation or validation processes.


Policy and advocacy in HIV/AIDS prevention

The handbook provides an overview of how to contribute to making policy an effective component of HIV/AIDS prevention. The document includes assessing current policies, steps in developing policy recommendations and advocacy for policy adoption.

HIV/AIDS: What about very young children?

This paper presents the results of research into the question of how to include very young children (ages 0-8) in programming and policy responses in communities affected by HIV/AIDS

The role of public policy in prevention and control of sexually transmitted infections. A guide to laws, regulations and technical guidelines

This document will assist programme managers and other health professionals in the evaluation of existing public health legislation and programme policies, assessment of areas where improvements are needed and the design of new legislation and/or policy instruments. Operational considerations and key questions are included that serve as useful guidelines when considering means and ways of approaching policy issues, particularly implementation. The annex includes examples of national policy and strategies for prevention and control of STIs as well as an outline on the technical guideline on STI partner referral.

HIV/AIDS voluntary counselling and testing: review of policies, programmes and guidelines in East, Central and Southern Africa

CRHCS commissioned a review of policies, programmes and guidelines in VCT as part of its strategy to harmonize and improve them and to promote the best practices for managing HIV/AIDS and STIs in ECSA. The review team elicited written responses from national AIDS programme managers using a detailed questionnaire. They interviewed key VCT programme and administrative staff, primary stakeholders such as technical partners, donors and implementing agencies. In addition, the team conducted an intensive review of both unpublished and published literature on VCT in ECSA and visited programmes in Kenya, Malawi, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.