Developing standardised guidelines on knowledge, attitude and skills of peer/outreach workers involved in HIV prevention for MSM in Southeast Asia

Published: August 1, 2008

Developing standardised guidelines on knowledge, attitude and skills of peer/outreach workers involved in HIV prevention for MSM in Southeast Asia

Issues: A 2005 regional meeting of outreach workers and peer educators on HIV prevention for and by MSM in Southeast Asia concluded that there is an urgent need to create normative guidelines that ensure quality standards, appropriateness and variety of messages provided. The consultation, held in Lao PDR, also demonstrated that current and past work have been so far project-based, scattered and uncoordinated. 

Description: The Purple Sky Network (PSN) in the Mekong sub-region and UNESCO developed a standardised Reference Manual for peer and outreach workers involved in HIV prevention programmes for and by MSM. The Manual was developed through a consultative process engaging a diverse range of organizations in the region. Agreed-upon standard contents include, among others: sexuality, relationships, HIV and STI transmission and prevention, positive prevention, ART, and substance abuse. The manual was adapted for and translated into local languages through collaborative work with local NGOs and CBOs, and it is being made available through multi-donor support to all outreach workers working with MSM in Thailand, Lao PDR, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Pakistan and parts of China, Indonesia and Malaysia. This paper will share experiences from the process of development of the manual as well as the content of the Manual. 

Lessons learned: Multi-stakeholder engagement through consultative processes supported the development of common standards, avoided duplication and ensured a more coherent and integrated approach across different organizations and countries. Such partnerships also aided to overcome cultural barriers to articulating messages related to MSM issues. 

Next steps: A standardised training curriculum for MSM peer and outreach workers will be developed based on the Manual to ensure that the agreed-upon quality standards will lead to more effective interventions. 

-Abstract can be found at link below- 

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