Scaling up Universal Access for Most at Risk Populations in Bosnia and Herzegovina (HIV/AIDS Round 9)

What is the project about?

Street action in Sarajevo, aiming to mark 1st December, World AIDS Day.

HIV/AIDS has had limited impact so far in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) with only 74 reported cases of people living with the disease and currently on antiretroviral therapy. Although the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in BiH is low, the focus on preventing an increase in infection is high. Early identification of the disease enables individuals to take actions that benefit both their own health and public health, and the early treatment of those infected substantially reduces the risk of HIV transmission to others. The prevention benefits of treatment can only be realised with effective treatment and adherence to antiretroviral therapy. BiH has been receiving funds from the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) since 2006, which is reflected to a great extent in the country’s ability to maintain HIV prevalence below 1% in the general population and less than 5% in any of the higher risk populations.  

What we do?

The project addresses the issues of HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment through a series of targeted actions aimed at reducing HIV transmission and improving HIV treatment, and by providing care and support for those populations most at risk. Within the project, and together with its partners, UNDP is specifically working on:

  • Advocating placing HIV/AIDS at the centre of national planning and budgets;
  • Strengthening the national capacity to manage initiatives that include people and institutions not usually involved with public health;
  • Promoting decentralised responses that support community-level action;
    - HIV testing is the foundation for both prevention and care efforts. Hence, 22 centres were established across BiH, which provide free, confidential HIV testing for all;
    - 10 drop-in centres were established where intravenous drug users can receive free medical assistance and kits containing syringes, condoms and HIV prevention information;
    - Support mechanisms in 12 prisons are now available through a network of 60 peer-educators aimed at preventing the spread of HIV and STDs;
    - Appropriate medical care, including antiretroviral treatment, is now available for those living with HIV/AIDS.  Individuals are also provided with psychosocial counselling, as well as food and nutrition supplements;
  • Decreasing the stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS, which is an obstacle to HIV/AIDS prevention and care;
  • Campaign launch to promote changing people’s behaviour to reduce the probability of contracting or spreading HIV, such as using condoms properly and consistently, reducing the number of partners, and avoiding sharing needles and syringes.

What have we accomplished so far?

  • The Response to HIV/AIDS in Bosnia and Herzegovina 2011-2016 Strategy was adopted by the Council of Ministers of BiH in September 2011;
  • HIV prevalence among the general population is now below 1% and is less than 5% in any higher risk population for HIV infection;
  • The system of public health supervision, monitoring and evaluation has been improved as well as inter-sectoral co-operation;
  • The active involvement of civil society in the policy-making process has been secured.

Continued action

Despite the low prevalence of HIV/AIDS in BiH, continued action is needed to prevent an increase in infection rates and to provide quality treatment, care and support for people living with HIV/AIDS. This includes:    

  1. Maximising the coverage of effective HIV prevention and care among the higher risk population;
  2. Ensuring appropriate prevention, treatment, care and support for people living with HIV/AIDS;   
  3. Strengthening the enabling environment for improving HIV prevention and care;
  4. Strengthening the capacity of co-ordinating and implementing agencies to respond to HIV/AIDS.

Who finances it?

Donor Name Amount contributed per year
GFATM* $4,389,664
GFATM $5,048,126
GFATM $2,895,711
  * The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM)

Delivery in previous fiscal year

DEC 2012 $ 9,219,092.79*
DEC 2011 $ 3,896.487,59**
  *resources 2012 Final Finacial Results (1 April 2013)
  **resources 2011 Resources overview (12 January 2012)

Geographic coverage

Project Overview
Project start date:
Estimated end date:
Geographic coverage:
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Focus Area:
Social Inclusion and Democratic Governance
Programme manager
Nesad Šeremet
Ministry of Civil Affairs Bosnia and Herzegovina, Federal Ministry of Health, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of Republika Srpska, Department of Health and Other Services, Brčko District, Public Health Institute of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Public Health Institute of Republika Srpska, NGO Association for sexual and reproductive health, NGO Consortium PROI/XY/Q, NGO Viktorija, NGO Margina, NGO Poenta, NGO Partnerships in Health, NGO Action Against AIDS, NGO World Vision
Video - Don't live in dark

TV Show CRTA - HIV/AIDS Story (BHT1 9 January 2014)

Related Publications
Research of Risk behaviour with Regard To HIV prevalence in groups at increased risk

The overall growth of the global AIDS epidemic appears to have stabilized. The annual number of new HIV infections has been steadily declining since the late 1990s and there are fewer AIDS-related deaths due to the significant scale up of antiretroviral therapy over the past few years.

Research on HIV stigma and discrimination among health care workers in public and private health care sector in BIH

Bosnia and Herzegovina falls into the group of countries with the low HIV prevalence, lower than 1% among general population and lower than 5% among the population at risk.

Research on risk behaviour of prison inmates in relation to HIV/SPI - BiH 2011

Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country with a low incidence of HIV epidemic, but general circumstances in the country all present a potential danger of spread of HIV in the coming period.

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