In India, the rate of HIV infection is higher among criminalised and marginalised groups than the general population. Almost 289,500 men who have sex with men (MSM) are living with HIV in India, which equated to 4.3% of the MSM population in 2015. There is also a high prevalence among sex workers, transgender people and people who use drugs.
Attempts to protect the rights of these groups (including support from The Humsafar Trust) has resulted in both successes and failures in India:
- The overturning of section 377 in 2013, which effectively re-criminalised homosexuality, has further marginalised the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) population.
- Transgender people were officially recognised as the ‘third gender’ by India’s Supreme Court in 2014.
- The right to gender identification for transgender people was effectively eliminated by the 2016 Transgender Bill, which does not allow transgender people to identify as male or female.
The Alliance partners with The Humsafar Trust to support MSM and transgender communities in Mumbai and provide them with effective HIV prevention and health services. As well as implementing their own programmes, The Humsafar Trust provides financial support to other community-based organisations, along with technical assistance on how to run effective programmes on HIV in India.
The Humsafar Trust was a partner on the Pehchan project, which was led by India HIV/AIDS Alliance. The Humsafar Trust continues to support marginalised people, and provided 7,500 people from key affected populations with HIV prevention programming in 2017.
The Humsafar Trust is one of five Alliance Linking Organisations working on the HIV response in India.