Via Libre has provided services to people affected by HIV and AIDS in Peru and promoted their rights since 1990. It became an Alliance Linking Organisation in 2005.
Most HIV transmission in Peru occurs through sexual contact, but this is concentrated among vulnerable populations such as sex workers, transgender people, and men who have sex with men.
The prevalence among men who have sex with men is high at 12.4% and HIV incidence among young men who have sex with men (under 25) has risen from 6.2% in 2002 to 9.6% in 2011. However, transgender women are the population most at risk of HIV in Peru, with prevalence rates of 20.8%.
Via Libre focuses on promoting universal access of Comprehensive Health Care, with a special emphasis on Sexual Health, STIs and HIV. Their interventions are based on up-to-date research and ethical principles including respect for human rights, sexual diversity and gender equality, mainly among affected and vulnerable populations.
Via Libre’s work
Via Libre hosts CRAT, the Alliance’s Regional Technical Support Hub for Latin America. These Hubs have been established to meet the demand from Alliance Linking Organisations, as well as other local NGOs and CBOs, for technical assistance that matches what local people need, and support that enables them to learn from and influence their peers.
Via Libre is a sub-recipient of Global Fund round 6 and round 10 HIV grants, which focuses on scaling-up key populations’ access to prevention services and community systems.
Via Libre aims to increase the representation of key populations in decision making spaces. This project is linked to the National Plan on HIV/AIDS and is the continuation of a project supported by DFID and the Alliance.
Testing and treatment
Via Libre has an HIV clinic and a family planning centre which offer testing and treatment as well as psycho-social support to patients. In their laboratory, chemists provide results to HIV and other STI tests. They also run a pharmacy which sells antiretroviral drugs, medicines for treatment of STIs and other drugs.
Via Libre also:
- Conducts behavioral and epidemiological research and runs clinical trials.
- Manages a project increasing services and networks for vulnerable children and young people affected by sex trafficking, supported by Terre des Hommes.
- Manages a project called Somos (‘We Are’), improving access to health services for men who have sex with men.
- From 2008 – 2010, Via Libre’s ‘HIV/AIDS Advocacy with Key Populations’ project trained and supported members of the populations most affected by HIV to help improve regional and national responses to the epidemic. The project established an organisation to safeguard health services for marginalised groups in two regions and empowered key populations to play a more strategic role in influencing policy and decision-making, and strengthened their capacity to ensure access to comprehensive HIV services.
- Via Libre’s 12 month TB/HIV pilot project ran in 2010. Via Libre proposed the introduction of fast-testing for multi-drug resistant TB as a means of addressing the problem of late detection. In January 2011, it was agreed that a new national plan to tackle TB/HIV would incorporate the project’s recommendations.
- Via Libre has influenced the current Peruvian multi sector National Plan to promote greater inclusion of key populations. This plan was the basis for the Round 6 Global Fund grant.