Select your language

Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response

Essential health service – sexual and reproductive health standard 2: HIV and AIDS

People have access to the minimum set of HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services during disasters.

Key actions (to be read in conjunction with the guidance notes)

Key indicators (to be read in conjunction with the guidance notes)

Guidance notes

  1. HIV control: The minimum set of HIV prevention, treatment, care and support described in the key actions for this standard is comprised of actions that the health sector must take to prevent HIV transmission and to provide care and support to PLHIV. They should be implemented during the early stages of any disaster response.
  2. Prevention of HIV transmission in healthcare settings: The prevention of transmission of HIV in healthcare settings (e.g. hospitals, healthcare clinics, vaccination campaigns) is a priority during the early stages of disaster response. Essential actions are ensuring the application of standard precautions, establishing safe and rational blood transfusion practices and the correct disposal of healthcare waste (see Health systems standard 1, Guidance notes 5, 10–11).
  3. Post-exposure prophylaxis: PEP to prevent HIV infection includes counselling, HIV exposure risk assessment, informed consent, assessment of the source and provision of ARV medicines. However, PEP should not be provided to a person who is known to be HIV positive; counselling and testing should never be mandatory nor should the provision of PEP be delayed while waiting for the test results.
  4. Anti-retroviral drugs: The provision of ARV for PMTCT, PEP and long-term ARTin disaster situationsis feasible. Continuation of ART for those already on treatment prior to the disaster must be considered a priority during disaster response.Pregnant women already taking ART should continue taking ARV without interruption. Pregnant women known to be HIV positive should receive ARV for PMTCT according to the national protocol where possible.



Caritas Internationalis and its Members do not promote the use of, or distribute any form of artificial birth control.