A Fundamental Shift: The Future of the Global MSM and HIV Movement

Published: November 11, 2015

MSMGF Begins to Plan for the Next 5 Years by Looking 25 Years Ahead

(September 23, 2015)-The global landscape for HIV and MSM is dramatically and rapidly changing. Reductions and disparities in funding for community based programs led by MSM or serving MSM are evident. Incidence of HIV among MSM in many parts of the world remain unabated; criminalization, stigma, discrimination, and violence directed at MSM continue to undermine advances in diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of HIV; polarization of priority issues within the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities creates a lag in momentum within the HIV sector; and socio-political landscapes continue to create unsteady footing, further compromising our ability to fully get ahead of HIV.

These trends and evolving context are only evident through hindsight. While a common practice is to conduct strategic planning for the short-term future (3 to 5 years), less common is an effort to cast ourselves farther into the future for long term planning.

To anticipate where the MSM, HIV, and human rights movements might be in another 25 years, the Global Forum on MSM & HIV (MSMGF) carried out a foresight scenario planning process with several dozen of its stakeholders and partners. MSMGF began with a simple but fundamental question: “What will the global MSM and HIV movements look like in 25 years?” The scenario planning process and its outcomes are documented in MSMGF’s latest publication, A Fundamental Shift: The Future of the Global MSM and HIV Movement.

MSMGF chose to adopt a two axis method for envisioning the future. The method generated four contrasting scenarios by placing a major factor influencing the future on each axis, which cross to form four quadrants. We chose a horizontal axis that juxtaposes two ways to focus action, with sexual health on one end and social solidarity on the other end. On the vertical axis, we juxtapose structural/systemic actions on one end, and services/program on the other.

MSMGF will use this document as the basis for its next 5-year strategic plan, which is expected to be completed in early 2016. With knowledge about several other planning processes currently underway, we invite our colleagues to use this document as a resource for those efforts.

Download the full PDF here.

We would love to hear what you think. Happy reading!


About Us: 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.

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Jack Mackenroth

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