Health and rights for key populations

Photograph by Marc de Clercq for Aidsfonds

Our vision: A society where lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, sex workers and people who use drugs (PWUD), including those living with HIV, are empowered and their human rights are respected.

The right to lead a healthy and fulfilling life is universal, but not accessible for all. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, sex workers and people who use drugs (PWUD) are often stigmatised, socially excluded, have limited access to health care, and they are among the poorest in society. As a result, they are disproportionally affected by HIV and AIDS.

Bridging the Gaps works towards a world where there is no hostility against homosexuality; where a drug user can access clean needles without risking to be arrested; and where a sex worker doesn’t need to fear any violence from clients nor from the police. Not only because it is important that their human rights are respected, protected and fulfilled, but also because it is an essential precondition to improve their health.

Our mission: Achieving universal access to HIV/STI prevention, treatment, care and support for LGBT people, sex workers and people who use drugs (PWUD), including those living with HIV,  to contribute to the end of the AIDS epidemic among key populations.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, sex workers and people who use drugs (PWUD) are much more likely to become infected by HIV while only 8% have access to HIV services. In many countries there are laws, regulations or policies in place that diminish access to health and legal services for key populations at higher risk.

Our three interrelated long term goals are:

1: A strengthened civil society that holds governments to account

  • Strengthening civil society and increasing the role of key population-led organisations in driving the response;
  • Engaging civil society organisations in service delivery and local, national and global advocacy;
  • Providing technical assistance and building the capacity of country and regional partners;
  • Implementation of normative guidance and related implementation tools.

2: Increased fulfilment of the human rights of key populations

  • Empowering individuals and communities to claim their rights and hold their governments to account;
  • Legal support and services to strengthen and support the legal position and status of key populations. As integral part of service delivery;
  • Reducing the number of countries with harmful laws;
  • Creating linkages between global advocacy and community-based work;
  • Reporting to Human rights Council (HRC), CEDAW committee, ICCPR and other human rights protection mechanisms about human rights violations experienced by key population communities.

3: Improved SRHR and fewer HIV transmissions

  • Increasing access to comprehensive and inclusive SRHR for all key populations;
    Service delivery;
  • Providing capacity building and technical advice for community based organisations to provide service delivery, and to advocate for access to services for key populations provided by governments and INGOs;
  • Creating local ownership of normative guidance and other technical implementation tools;
    Increasing access to fair and comprehensive prevention and information on options.