In the spring of 2010, the MSMGF researched and developed a brand-new kind of advocacy toolkit—one that would provide tools and training specific to issues of HIV and Men who have Sex with Men (MSM).
This toolkit was first piloted in the summer of 2010 at the International AIDS Conference in Vienna, Austria.
These trainings generated rich discussion, and we learned a lot from both the process and the advocates themselves—feedback that is included in the version of the toolkit you are reading now.
At the same time, we also discovered through the pilot process that there are serious limitations to developing an advocacy toolkit that is applicable to a global audience. On the one hand, there are certainly common issues experienced by MSM around the world—for instance, discrimination or homophobia expressed by a frontline health provider—however, we found that there were significantly different solutions and strategies put forward for advocacy action in different socioeconomic and political contexts. To oversimplify a complex issue, we found that advocacy strategies that were appropriate for Uganda were wildly different from what was effective in Australia.
As such, the Global Forum has since moved forward with developing regional adaptations of this toolkit. Working with local partners, we are working to tailor this tool to be more effective for a number of specific regions—including updated, regionally-specific HIV data; translation into the local language; and inputs and insights from local partners and advocates who will be piloting the trainings themselves.
In the meantime, we want to make this “global” version of the toolkit available to activists and allies, to help support you in your local work without delay. Please, however, keep in mind that this iteration of the toolkit was intended for a global audience and is therefore quite broad and general. As we work to develop regional adaptations, we encourage you to adapt these activities and strategies to make them your own, and the most applicable to your local setting.
The Global Forum on MSM & HIV