New Technical Guidance for HIV Prevention Among MSM Around the Globe
May 31, 2011
The HIV PJA joins the Global Forum on MSM & HIV in welcoming the recent release of technical guidelines for HIV prevention among men who have sex with men (MSM) from the Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator (OGAC). If implemented appropriately, these new guidelines could make a significant impact on the epidemic among MSM around the globe, whose rates of HIV are as high as 30% in countries like Jamaica and Thailand. More than half of MSM around the world lack access to life-saving services like HIV education, testing and treatment.
OGAC oversees PEPFAR, the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. As such, it is charged with implementing the new MSM guidelines in country missions around the world.
The guidance document takes a significant step forward in recognizing that human rights abuses, stigma, discrimination, and criminalization of same-sex activity must be addressed as part of an effective HIV response for MSM. It explicitly identifies community-based outreach, condom and lubricant distribution, HIV counseling and testing, linkages to care and treatment, targeted information, and screening and treatment for sexually transmitted infections as six key elements of a comprehensive strategy for HIV prevention among MSM.
Promising as these steps are, particularly in a context of stigma reduction and human rights, OGAC released the document without a formal announcement, and there is no clear implementation structure or articulated strategy to involve MSM groups as partners in this work. Allies for prevention justice must continue to press OGAC to make a formal announcement to all PEPFAR stakeholders that the new guidelines are out there, that they must be implemented in every country mission operated by PEPFAR, and that sufficient resources must be allocated to this process.
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This article was provided by HIV Prevention Justice Alliance. Visit HIV Prevention Justice Alliance's website to find out more about their activities and publications.
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