Earlier this month, MSMGF (the Global Forum on MSM & HIV) convened 40 global human rights advocates in Bangkok, Thailand, for two linked meetings: the Consortium of MSM and Transgender Networks (supported by RCNF) and The Advocacy Platform to Fast-track the HIV and Human Rights Responses With Gay and Bisexual Men, in collaboration with UNAIDS. In light of global trends toward increased isolationism and shrinking space for civil society, the goal of our meetings was to amplify joint advocacy to end AIDS worldwide and to advance the human rights of gay and bisexual men and trans* people.
The Consortium of MSM and Transgender Networks is a groundbreaking alliance of 10 global and regional networks by and for MSM and transgender communities. The Consortium was created as a means to pool the collective resources, energy, and expertise of its members, and to solidify a united front for advocacy.
The Platform is composed of global and regional experts, human rights defenders, and researchers who provide ongoing strategic advice and guidance to United Nations agencies, global donors, such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), and other stakeholders. The Platform was formed in recognition that the HIV responses for MSM must be accelerated and scaled-up to reach global targets for ending the epidemic.
The Consortium and the Platform identified shared priorities for continued urgent monitoring and action, including:
- Funding and investment in key populations
- LGBTI and human rights violations, and structural barriers to accessing services &
- Prevention, treatment, and holistic sexual health programming.
“We see The Consortium as a driving force for strengthening the member networks, and to learn how we remain relevant. We don’t have much time, and we need to build the future right now.” – Sergio Lopez, SomosGay, Asunción, Paraguay, and MSMGF Steering Committee Member
Over the next two years, the Consortium will continue to foster exchange and support capacity building activities at global and regional levels. Members are eager to explore new funding opportunities to provide sound technical assistance to its partners.
In tandem with these efforts, the Platform created an ambitious plan to advocate for the inclusion of HIV and human rights issues for gay and bisexual men in the High Level Political Forum, the central platform for monitoring the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
Now more than ever, heightened visibility and vigilance for the rights of marginalized communities is imperative in the global HIV and health responses. The Consortium and the Platform are committed to reinvigorating global discussions about next-generation HIV prevention and sexual health programming, and both groups intend to co-sponsor a pre-conference networking zone at the 2018 International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam.
“Building trust among Platform representatives from different backgrounds and forging common cause is not an easy process, but it is necessary. The Platform helps us hold ourselves accountable and think creatively about how to link our high-level work to the country-level.” – Richard Burzynski, UNAIDS
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)