MSMGF is proud to announce, together with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the launch of a Global Platform to achieve ambitious global HIV and human rights targets among gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men. The Platform is a response to accelerated targets set by UNAIDS for the global HIV response, the “Fast-Track strategy” to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030. Through the Platform, members will provide strategic advice to United Nations agencies, major donors, and other stakeholders on HIV program needs and priorities for gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men. In all its work, the Platform seeks to “re-center” the global response to HIV around unabated and disproportionate HIV incidence and prevalence in this population worldwide.
“To date, we have shamefully failed gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men in the global response to HIV. Establishing the first ever advisory body to the United Nations agencies and donor community devoted to this issue is an important first step in correcting the situation. I am excited to work on this platform in close partnership with an extraordinary group of dedicated advocates and allies,” said Dr. George Ayala, Executive Director of the MSMGF.
Platform members are gay and bisexual men, and other men who have sex with men including men living with HIV, advocates, human rights defenders, prevention experts, and program planners. At a Platform kick-off meeting, held in Geneva, Switzerland on January 12-13, participants included the MSMGF, representatives of regional networks of men who have sex with men, civil society organizations, the Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, the Global Fund, the Elton John AIDS Foundation, youth groups, people living with HIV, the World Health Organization, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the private sector, and UNAIDS.
The Platform’s short-term aim is to ensure strengthened language in the 2016 Universal Declaration on HIV/AIDS about the needs of gay and bisexual men, and other men who have sex with men, with clear, reasonably articulated indicators that are achievable and consistently used. In addition, the Platform seeks elevated public visibility and awareness about the disproportionate impact HIV is having on gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men in the lead up to, during, and after the World Health Organization’s General Assembly Meeting in May 2016, the UN High-Level Meeting on HIV and AIDS in June 2016, and the International AIDS Conference in July 2016. Working with UNAIDS, UNDP, and the Global Fund, the Platform plans to produce a side event in New York City during the UN High-Level Meeting.
The Platform’s long-term aim is to increase availability of and access to high quality sexual health services; decreased HIV and STI incidence; significantly expanded enactment of human right protections; and improved social inclusion, social cohesion, and social participation for gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men worldwide.
MSMGF will serve as the Secretariat for the Platform, supporting the Platform logistically and administratively, coordinating communications, and fundraising in close coordination with Platform members. MSMGF will also map out the advocacy process and entry points leading up to the UN High-Level Meeting.
Read the post from UNAIDS here.
All photos courtesy of UNAIDS
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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.