global advocacy for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people

Our global advocacy on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities aims to improve their meaningful participation in HIV policies and programmes, influence legal and policy reform, and improve funding to achieve universal access to HIV services. We will achieve these aims by working with the Global Forum on Men who have Sex with Men and HIV (MSMGF) and other partners to support evidence-informed advocacy.

Criminalisation, homophobia and poor data

In most countries men who have sex with men and transgender people face greater HIV risks than the general population. More than a third of countries worldwide have laws that criminalise gay sex, and in six countries those found guilty can face the death penalty. This criminalisation, lack of social protection, pervasive violence, and widespread homophobia and discrimination by health workers all limit access to services.

In low and middle-income countries only 9% of men who have sex with men had access to even the most basic HIV prevention services in 2007. This situation had only improved marginally by 2010, although there is limited data available as few countries are reporting on indicators for these groups. Access to treatment is only slightly better. A recent MSMGF survey found that only 30% of men who have sex with men can access treatment without difficulty. There is even less data on transgender people, but what there is shows even higher HIV prevalence rates and worse access to services.

Promoting strong networks

Our project is working to promote strong networks and communities of men who have sex with men and transgender people. We will achieve this by:

  • Training local individuals to advocate themselves for fair access to tailored HIV-related services;
  • Training health care professionals and community HIV prevention organisations;
  • Documenting the experiences of the LGBT community, and publishing material that raises awareness of the HIV, health and human rights challenges facing these groups;
  • Connecting advocates to regional and global policy makers and forums;
  • Developing MSMGF as a global watchdog, using on-the-ground experiences of LGBT people to inform its policy analysis, public education and advocacy work.