Ambassador Deborah Birx, U.S. Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy, visited with MSMGF staff at the conclusion of the Platform meeting hold in Bangkok, in March 2017
MSMGF continues its advocacy role as a key global community partner to the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to ensure that global health investments from the US Government are responsive to the unique HIV-related needs of gay and bisexual men living around the world.
During the Bush Administration, the Republican-controlled House and Senate passed a bill authorizing funding to benefit two critical initiatives — PEPFAR and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The U.S. contribution to these initiatives grew to $6.81 billion per year in 2016, making the United States the single largest contributor to the global fight to end AIDS.
President Donald Trump’s first budget proposal imperils the progress made over 13 years of PEPFAR and the Global Fund. Together with our partners in global advocacy, MSMGF continues to advocate tirelessly for the US to maintain its budgetary commitments to foreign assistance, the reversal of which could dismantle over a decade of progress. These initiatives mark an incredible story of transformation in the global AIDS response and any reversal of the US’s commitment to public health could spell disaster for key populations around the world.
In tandem with this potential shift, MSMGF maintains our ongoing collaborations with a broad global coalition of organizations (in partnership with HealthGap, AVAC, and AmFAR), to advocate for increased funding and expanded programming for men who have sex with men and other key populations in PEPFAR-funded programs worldwide.
In January 2017, as the PEPFAR Country Operational Plans (COP) development process was underway, we broadly circulated a community update that promoted greater engagement of men who have sex with men and other key populations with in-country PEPFAR COP processes. MSMGF provided direct support to country partners in sub-Saharan Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and Southeast Asia, preparing advocates for regional COP review processes. We also worked closely with partners from Botswana, Indonesia, Kenya, Ukraine and Zimbabwe to conduct advocacy during those countries’ COP review.
We participated in the 2017 Country and Regional Operational Plan Approval Meetings in Washington DC in coordination with Dr. Rafael Mazin from Gay Latino. The Washington DC gathering helped advance PEPFAR country and regional level plans focused on key populations from the Caribbean and Central American regions.
MSMGF will continue its advocacy this April in Johannesburg at more PEPFAR gatherings covering countries from across Africa. Together, these meetings are designed to:
- Finalize any outstanding issues related to the submitted plans so that it may be approved by Ambassador Deborah Birx by the end of the meeting; and
- Engage with key global and local partners – community, multilateral, and government – on shared innovative implementation solutions.
MSMGF is an expanding network of advocates and other experts in sexual health, LGBT/human rights, research, and policy, working to ensure an effective response to HIV among gay men and other men who have sex with men. We are directly linked with more than 130 community-based organizations, across 73 countries.
The Global Forum on MSM & HIV (MSMGF)