The Alliance’s programme in Madagascar ended in October, passing on a well established and growing number of national networks working on HIV.
After eight years of successful programming, the Alliance office in Madagascar closed at the end of October. Alliance Madagascar had been at the centre of the HIV response in the country, and facilitated the development of major networks of marginalised and vulnerable groups including people living with HIV, vulnerable youth, men who have sex with men, and sex workers.
With the financial and programmatic support of the Alliance, these networks grew and strengthened over the years, and empowered their members to play an effective role in the national response. In 2008 over 114,000 people were reached directly through services, and over 80 organisations and networks provided with organisational and programmatic support.
The end of the Alliance programme does not mean the end of this work, the thriving networks the Alliance set up will continue to take forward the community response to HIV, with many also continuing to receive support from other partners and donors.
Accessing vulnerable populations
Alliance Madagascar was one of the first organisations to focus on prevention of HIV and sexually transmitted infections with high risk population groups, successfully raising the profile of marginalised populations and putting them at the heart of the country’s HIV response. One example of this was the programme’s work with vulnerable women in the Gates Foundation-funded Frontiers Prevention Programme (FPP) running from 2003 to 2006.
The Alliance also supported the national networks of people living with HIV and sex workers to take action against stigma and discrimination. The networks compiled a record of cases of abuse and used this information to advocate for better access to health centres and employment opportunities.
The programme also supported the creation of local HIV committees in 20 priority districts, conducted a number of studies on vulnerable populations and sex work in Madagascar, and supported the development of the national five year action plan for vulnerable populations in collaboration with UNAIDS/UNDP.
Alliance Madagascar was one of the first organisations to focus on prevention of HIV with high risk population groups