Immediately following, an all-day meeting to discuss the future strategic direction of the organization, MSMGF’s (the Global Forum on MSM & HIV) International Steering Committee and Board of Directors released their new Strategic Plan for 2016-2021 titled: Community Action, Sexual Health & Rights.
Over the past 10 years, MSMGF has worked closely with partners from around the world to develop a suite of advocacy and capacity building programs designed to address a range of inter-related health and human rights challenges faced globally by gay and bisexual men. MSMGF now finds itself in an increasingly crowded field where a range of HIV responders are engaged in work on behalf of men who have sex with men and claiming expertise. The global landscape is also in the midst of dramatic changes. This includes:
- Unabated (and in many instances worsening) STI and HIV incidence among gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men;
- Reductions in HIV funding and gross disparities of funding directed to community- based programs led by or serving gay and bisexual men;
- Integration of HIV within a broader global health or sexual and reproductive health agenda;
- Criminalization and worsening stigma, discrimination, and violence directed at lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, undermining the HIV response;
- Solid evidence of the health and prevention potential of antiretroviral medication;
- The increasing bio-medicalization of the HIV response;
- Revised normative guidance on HIV prevention and treatment interventions and program implementation;
- An evolving international development sector with changes in how poverty and country income are conceptualized; and
- Pressure for greater country ownership in the HIV response, especially in emerging economies where HIV is concentrated among gay and bisexual men.
MSMGF’s new Strategic Plan outlines how MSMGF proposes to position itself within this context over the next five years. It is grounded in the understanding and insight gained through dozens of interviews, surveys, and a large group, 2-day scenario planning exercise that asked participants to imagine the HIV section 40 years from now. As such, the strategic directions articulated by MSMGF’s Strategic Plan were developed with a view towards longer-term impact. For 2016-2021, the following three Strategic Direction with guide MSMGF’s work:
- Forging the Way: Nurturing and mobilizing leadership for community action in HIV, sexual health, and human rights;
- Breaking Barriers: Promoting equitable access to comprehensive and holistic HIV and sexual health services for gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men; and
- Leading Together on Human Rights: Gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men working in broad-based coalitions towards social justice.