The Global Task Force on HIV Among Uniformed Services (USTF) aims to strengthen and expand effective HIV prevention and AIDS care, treatment, and support for uniformed services personnel, their families, and their communities and to assist national and regional AIDS programmes in harnessing the full potential of uniformed services as behavioural and social change agents. The Task Force supports the Millennium Development Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Other Diseases. For purposes of this Task Force, the term ‘uniformed services’ includes national militaries and other law enforcement agencies.
The Task Force pursues these aims through:
- Advocacy among national, regional, and international health and security organizations regarding the importance of uniformed services’ role in HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and treatment Promotion of effective civil-military partnerships in the health and security communities
- Encouragement of regional and national programme coordination and development by providing:
- Financial assistance to regional and national HIV programmes for uniformed services
- Technical assistances through the identification, documentation, and dissemination of tools and guidance such as lessons learned, best practices, and position papers
- An improved HIV/AIDS research agenda that raises the level of discourse by providing cutting edge, up-to-date research
- Mobilization of new partners and additional financial resources for HIV programmes for the uniformed services, and continued engagement with current partners
The Task Force Core Membership meets twice a year and, to the extent possible, in conjunction with other meetings. This affords the opportunity to invite wider Task Force participation.
Core membership includes:
- The Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)
- The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
- The UN Department for Peacekeeping (DPKO)
- The United Nations Development Program (UNDP)
- The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
- The US Department of Defense (USDoD)
- The Netherlands, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The stakeholders of the Task Force are all those who subscribe to the above aims and who commit human and/or financial resources towards achieving those aims. Those making such a commitment may apply for Task Force membership.
Current stakeholders include:
- The African Union Department for Peace and Security
- The Latin American and Caribbean Armed and Police Forces Committee for AIDS Prevention and Control (LAC COPRECOS)
- Southern African Development Community (SADC)
- Western and Central Africa Regional HIV Network of Military Forces (WCA)
- East African Community (EAC)
- Pacific Island Chiefs of Police (PICP)
- The Thai Military Research Institute and Regional Training Centre
- The World Health Organization (WHO)
- International Centre for Migration and Health (ICMH)
- AIDS, Security and Conflict Initiative (ASCI)
- The Institute for Security Studies, South Africa (ISS)
- International Committee of Military Medicine (ICMM)
The Task Force meets once each year and between meetings communicates through e-mail, via the Task Force website (www.ustfhiv.org/cms/index.php), and through smaller gatherings if necessary. Individual experts and representatives of naitonal militaries and NGOs may be invited to attend Task Force meetings.
UNAIDS currently serves as the secretariat for the Task Force.