Global advocacy for key populations with HIV

Our global advocacy on key populations living with HIV aims to support strong and inclusive networks that can advocate effectively for universal access to services and the human rights of key populations living with HIV. We will achieve these aims by working with the Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+), the International Treatment Preparedness Coalition (ITPC ) and other partners to support advocacy skills among civil society.

More stigma, less access

Key populations face two layers of stigma – the first based on fear of HIV transmission, the second on social hostility towards homosexuality, sex work, and drug use. In dozens of countries, there is overly broad criminalisation of HIV non-disclosure, exposure and transmission. This violates human rights and makes people less inclined to have an HIV test and find out their status. Many of these same countries have punitive laws for sex work, drug use and men who have sex with men. Put these things together and you have an environment where access to services and protection of human rights for key populations is extremely difficult.

Globally, key populations are 10-20 times more likely to be living with HIV that the general population. Prevalence rates are as high as 73% for sex workers in Ethiopia; over 50% for drug users in a range of countries from China to Estonia; and 40% for men who have sex with men in coastal Kenya. However, only 8% of key populations worldwide have consistent access to HIV prevention, care and treatment services. There is also a worrying gap in sexual and reproductive health services for key populations living with HIV.

Building strong networks

Our project is working to build strong networks of people living with HIV who can bring about change. We will achieve this by:

  • Developing, analysing and using evidence to inform policy and action;
  • Carrying out targeted global advocacy with donors, UN agencies and multilaterals;
  • Building treatment literacy and the ability of networks to advocate for treatment access;
  • Improving coordination between people living with HIV, key population networks, and broader civil society;
  • Making networks of people living with HIV more inclusive to key populations;
  • Developing the fundraising skills of key population networks.