Catalysing national AIDS responses with enhanced coverage for MSM and TG

Published: July 18, 2010

Catalysing national AIDS responses with enhanced coverage for MSM and TG

C. Traore1, K. Rybalchenko2, E. Settle3

1United Nations Development Programme, Bureau for Development Policy, New York City, United States, 2United Nations Development Programme, HIV Practice, Kyiv, Ukraine, 3United Nations Development Programme, HIV Practice, Bangkok, Thailand

Issues: All around the developing world, evidence shows high HIV incidence and prevalence among MSM and transgender people (TG). This contrasts with low coverage and poor capacity to address their prevention, treatment ,care and support needs.
In 2009, UNDP supported MSM and TG work in Lesotho, the Philippines and Ukraine. Various programmes and advocacy approaches were used to engage governments and civil society to increase attention and address the needs of MSM and TG in national plans.

Description: All projects were implemented with the involvement of Joint UN Teams, national AIDS authorities, local MSM/transgender networks and technical agencies.
All programmes included a component on strengthening the evidence on sexual behaviour and access to services. In Lesotho, the survey was extended to women.
Projects were strongly grounded in rights-based approaches, with strong involvement of LGBT leaders, and technical and financial support to strengthen their organisations

Lessons learned: UNDP’s experience in three continents demonstrates that even in countries with no prior government experience of HIV programming for MSM and TG, successes in increasing the evidence and programming can be achieved within a relatively short period of time.
In Lesotho, there is now data on the HIV-related needs of sexual minorities. In the Ukraine and the Philippines, a range of providers are receiving training on reducing homophobia within their services.
In the Philippines, the first National MSM conference was organized and MSM are now included in platforms and policy debates regarding rights and the national HIV response.
The successful engagement of governments requires multi-sectoral approaches linking efforts for human rights, research, and programmatic capacity-building.

Next steps: To mark the year of universal access, lessons from UNDP’s experience in scaling up national responses for MSM and TG are being documented and shared for expanding coverage for MSM and TG in more countries.

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