NOTE FROM THE EXECUTIVE OFFICER
The year 2010 was both breathtaking and heart breaking. We witnessed important progress and painful setbacks for communities working against HIV and for the health and human rights of gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM) worldwide.
New research demonstrated the advantages of 100% coverage of comprehensive HIVrelatedservices for MSM, as well as the impact such coverage has on general populations across country-specific epidemiologic scenarios. Research also pointed to the promise of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).
The past year also saw the World Health Organization (WHO) develop new guidance for HIV-related prevention and care sensitive to MSM and our unique sexual health needs. The United Nations Joint Program on AIDS (UNAIDS) also revised its outcome framework to include a specific focus on targeting MSM, sex workers and transgender people.
The Global Fund on AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) created a funding reserve to support HIV proposals that focus on most at risk populations, including MSM. This new funding stream resulted in twelve successful grant applications with a five-year value of over U.S. $130 million.
Sadly, these stunning achievements were overshadowed by continued global backsliding in human rights for MSM. Influential Ugandan activist David Kato was brutally murdered, drawing global attention to the all-too-common violence against MSM and transgender people around the world. Kato’s death followed a series of disturbing events that unfolded in Uganda in the months before his murder, including the infamous “Anti-homosexuality Bill” calling for life in prison and possible execution for those engaging in same-gender sexual activity. As horrifying as these regressions are, they are not isolated, and they require that we continue to step up our advocacy efforts and vigilance.
The numerous advances and setbacks that took place in the past year all point to new challenges for those of us working in the field of HIV among MSM. The work ahead will require redoubled energy and tenacity to ensure that the response to HIV among MSM is moving in a direction that will result in better health outcomes and animproved status of human rights for MSM around the world
Over the course of 2010, the Global Forum on MSM & HIV (MSMGF) greatly enhanced its capacity to conduct advocacy, research, knowledge production and program activities. Thanks to wide-ranging support from foundations, governments and partner organizations, we were able to expand our Secretariat staff to 7.5 full-time employees and open our new headquarters in Oakland, California.
Throughout the year, we encouraged the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to develop country-level field guidance focused on MSM and transgender people, and worked to honor the experiences of communities that are routinely excluded from basic care and support services.
We also partnered with The Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+), the Global Network of Sex Work Projects, the International Network of People Who Use Drugs, the International Planned Parenthood Association, and Pangaea Global AIDS Foundation to help expand our mutual support and shared reach.
Two of the MSMGF’s most exciting endeavors came to fruition this past summer. In July, we hosted our fourth and largest Pre-Conference event for MSM in advance of the XVIII International AIDS Conference in Vienna. Entitled Be Heard!, the event was attended by nearly 600 advocates, community members, service providers, researchers, public health officials, donors and key thought leaders representing over 300 organizations from 80 countries. The Be Heard! event served as a marquee opportunity for strategizing, networking and challenging one another toward a more coordinated global response to HIV among MSM.
Immediately following the conference’s conclusion in August, we launched version 2.0 of www.msmgf.org, expanding our membership to nearly 1,900 activists in 122 countries and offering extensive information and services in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. Our web presence will continue to be a cornerstone of our service to you.
The year 2011 will mark the completion of our first three-year strategic plan. The MSMGF will spend the early part of 2011 consulting with a range of stakeholders from every region of the world to determine our organization’s strategic direction for the next three to five years.
As a newly appointed civil society delegate to the UNAIDS Program Coordinating Board, we also will be actively engaged in the processes leading up to the United Nations’ High Level Meeting on AIDS.
Finally, we will be working closely with MSM activists at the country-level as we initiate Speaking Out, the MSMGF’s new community systems strengthening project.
On behalf of our staff, steering committee, global members, volunteers and donors worldwide, I have the honor of saying thank you for an incredible 2010. Please join us as we move forward into the challenges and exciting possibilities of 2011.
Executive Officer, MSMGF
Read the full Annual Report at the links below:
The 2010 Annual Report of the Global Forum on MSM & HIV (MSMGF) (high resolution)
The 2010 Annual Report of the Global Forum on MSM & HIV (MSMGF) (low resolution)