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MEDIA ALERT! SIDE EVENT on HIV & AIDS at the United Nations in New York: April 5th, 3PM-6PM

Published: March 29, 2016

“Unfinished Business: HIV Among Gay and Bisexual Men and Other Men Who Have Sex With Men”

March 29, 2016 (Oakland, California)- MSMGF (The Global Forum on MSM & HIV) is organizing a Side Event to the upcoming Civil Society Hearings in the lead-up to the United Nations High Level Meeting on HIV and AIDS (HLM) in New York. Titled: Unfinished Business: HIV Among Gay, Bisexual Men and Other Men Who Have Sex With Men, the goal of the Side Event is to ensure the outcomes of the United Nations High Level Meeting on HIV and AIDS include and even prioritize gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men. Please download and share the policy brief here.

MSMGF is organizing the Side Event in close consultation with the Global Platform to Fast Track the HIV and Human Rights Responses Among Gay, Bisexual Men and Other Men Who Have Sex with Men (The Platform), a civil society-led body constituted in January 2016 to provide guidance to the UN’s coordination of the global HIV response, as well as to provide information and advice to other partners.

Confirmed speakers include Minister Alex Giacomelli da Silva with the Permanent Mission of Brazil, United Nations; Deputy Coordinator Thomas La Salvia with the Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator; and Nigerian Activist, Micheal Ighodaro, Program and Policy Advisor, AVAC. The Side Event will open with a special video-taped message from Justice Michael Kirby of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law, followed by three panels focused on the need for reliable data, models for collaboration between community-led organizations and government, and enabling policy environments for more effective HIV responses. Please download and circulate the full program here.

Screen Shot 2016-03-29 at 1.14.02 PM“Gay, bisexual men and other men who have sex with men are among the only groups for which HIV is uncontrolled or worsening in most parts of the world. There is a disparate HIV disease burden shouldered by gay, bisexual men and other MSM that is inadequately addressed globally. Exclusion of men who have sex with men from national AIDS planning processes has contributed to inadequately funded, inaccessible, and poorly targeted programs. Criminalization of homosexuality encourages human rights abuses, violence, discrimination, and stigma, which worsen health disparities for men who have sex with men and their communities. If this continues, quite frankly, progress made in the global HIV response will begin to unravel”, asserts Dr. George Ayala, Executive Director of MSMGF.

In the pre-mature race towards the “end of AIDS”, the gravity of the situation for gay and bisexual men is being ignored or down-played. The HIV-related needs of gay, bisexual men and other men who have sex with men must be addressed openly, quickly, and with sufficient resources to support evidence-based, community-led, and human rights-affirming interventions at scale.

The HIV and human right needs of gay men and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men must be placed firmly within the context of the upcoming United Nations High-level Meeting (HLM). This is crucial to ensure that the ambitious targets set by UNAIDS in 2015 in its Fast Track strategy to end AIDS by 2030 are achieved and include, if not emphasize, gay men, bisexual men and other men who have sex with men.

The side event will be co-hosted by the Governments of Brazil and the United States of America and is supported by UNAIDS, UNDP, UNFPA, the Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator/PEPFAR, and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria.

We need widespread participation and activism to influence unfriendly and homophobic governments at the High Level Meeting in June.

RSVP IS REQUIRED TO RECEIVE A SPECIAL EVENT TICKET! To RSVP, send your name, organizational affiliation, and email address to MSMGF Director of Policy, Nadia Rafif at nrafif@msmgf.org.

RSVPs MUST BE RECEIVED BY OR BEFORE FRIDAY, APRIL 2nd.  
Special Event Tickets can be retrieved on April 5th at the Visitor’s Entrance of the United Nations – 46th Street & 1st Avenue with photo ID. Please arrive at 2:00PM as the line at the Visitor’s Entrance can be long. Security personnel will stop issuing tickets at 2:45PM.

Download and circulate the full program here.
Download and circulate the full policy brief here.

Please RSVP today,

MSMGF
#HLM2016AIDS

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MSMGF has worked since 2006 to encourage targeted, tailored, better resourced, and rights-based sexual health services for gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM) worldwide through its advocacy and technical support work. As a global network, MSMGF has successfully influenced HIV responses at the local level through shifts in global-level policies and has effectively utilized public health as an entry point for advancing the human rights of LGBT people. MSMGF currently supports programs in 15 countries.

Media Contact
Jack Mackenroth
jmackenroth@msmgf.org

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