The Second International Expert Meeting on HIV Prevention among MSM, WSW and Transgenders brought together about 200 participants from across civil society, UN agencies, research institutions and bilaterals.
Robinson Cabello from linking organization Via Libre in Peru gave a presentation on community involvement in research, Georges Azzi from Alliance partner Helem in Lebanon led a workshop on decriminalisation; and Alan Brotherton from the secretariat policy team presented on ‘Best Practice, Scaling Up, Novel Approaches’.
The meeting heard about promising signs of progress, such as the Global Fund’s recent sexual orientation and gender identity strategy, and the emergence of global and regional advocacy bodies such as the Global Forum on MSM and HIV, and the Asia Pacific Coalition on Male Sexual Health. The need for better co-ordination between donors, intermediaries and civil society to produce more coherent policy platforms at national level was identified as a key step to ensure sustained, population-wide coverage of services.
Acknowledging the very real differences in the issues faced by the diverse populations under discussion, and seeking common ground for advocacy and mobilisation, was an underlying theme of the meeting. Most inspiring was the presence of so many articulate, knowledgeable young activists and programme implementers from across the world – a promising sign for the future.
The meeting was followed by a one day workshop organised by United National Development Programme and co-facilitated by the Alliance, focused on increasing collaboration between intermediary organisations. It was attended primarily by civil society and independent funders such as HIVOS and the Elton John Foundation, and led to commitments to try to develop joint approaches to funding and advocacy regarding men who have sex with men and HIV prevention.
The meeting acknowledged the very real differences in the issues faced by the diverse populations under discussion, while seeking common ground