Ten imperatives for action: Lessons learned In prevention of HIV/STI transmission for gay and other MSM in Latin America and the Caribbean
Issues: After almost 20 years of prevention interventions in Latin America and the Spanish Caribbean (LAC), what have we learned about what approaches work and what is needed? In the region, most epidemics are still concentrated in MSM. Although this has not been reflected in national budget priorities nor in international donor responses, there is a new international and regional movement to try to effectively address the situation. A regional network, ASICAL and an international NGO, the International HIV/AIDS Alliance joined efforts in a regional workshop.
Description: 35 persons working in prevention of HIV transmission for gay and other MSM from around the region met to analyse interventions and their context and to identify and articulate lessons learned in how we undertake prevention, the results of our work, and how we evaluate our efforts. They also collectively identified concrete examples of good practice from throughout the region in diverse areas of prevention, capacity building and advocacy.
Lessons learned: Although much good work has been done in the region, it has happened with few resources, little formal training and within difficult social and political situations. The deliberations and analysis of the group lead to the elaboration of the 10 imperatives for HIV/STI prevention for gay and other MSM in LAC. These imperatives for action outline the steps needed to effectively confront an ever-expanding epidemic in the region.
Recommendations: Intervention methodologies need more rigorous evaluation and articulation. Effective methodologies need to be shared and amplified. Research and training in the region are desperately needed along with technical support, increased funding and an effective communications system. Collaboration and strategic alliances between regional networks, institutions and funders is vital. Above all there is a desperate need for improving the socio-political environment of MSM in the region.