A new HIV/STI national programme targetting MSM and WSW in South Africa; what, who and where?
Issues: Overview and experiences of South African Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender (LGBT) community group´s implementation of prevention/testing/care programmes, HIV/AIDS related research, and advocacy efforts. These groups´ efforts in advocating for inclusion of LGBT issues within National Governmental programmes and how past programmes/efforts informed a new national programme targetting LGBT people.
Description: The South African Government´s HIV/AIDS/STI National Strategic Plan (NSP) 2007-2011 stipulates targets for prevention programmes for MSM´s, lesbians and transsexuals. It includes, inter alia, reaching 70% of specified groups in 2011. This goal came about through the lobbying of various groups, including LGBT groups. Programme implementation is headed by the Joint Working Group, an alliance of LGBT community structures. A plan has been drafted covering the areas of strategic objectives, needed research, programmes for prevention/testing/care, needed advocacy efforts, as well a needed structure and budget for programme implementation. Strategic objectives cover overall goals in the context of the NSP; advocacy plans include a mapping of what advocacy is needed where and by whom; research plans stipulate needed baseline data for programmes; prevention programmes include which target groups should be reached with what programmes; and structure inlcude staffing and budget.
Lessons learned: In order to reach significant numbers local small scale programmes need to mainstream issues within Government and other large scale agents. Programmes need to be informed by local and international experience and these will be shared within the presentation. Essential programme elements are having clear objectives, a cycle of evidence informed research, continual advocacy as LGBT groups and in alliance with other progresive sectors, as well as evidence informed prevention/testing/care programmes.
Next steps: Programme implementation is in its early days and will span from 2008-2011. As the programme sets out to reach clear targets, monitoring of its sucess will be on-going. Next steps include such a monitoring and needed changes.
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