Tackling HIV/AIDS Among Key Populations:

Published: July 30, 2013

The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has embarked on a historic effort to ensure an AIDS-free generation. This visionary initiative aligns with broader international efforts that aim to lay the foundation for the eventual
end of HIV/AIDS.

However, ending the AIDS epidemic will not be possible without greatly increased efforts to reduce new infections and prevent AIDS-related deaths among key populations at highest risk of HIV acquisition and transmission. This issue brief focuses on four such populations— sex workers, people who inject drugs, men who have sex with men (MSM), and transgender individuals—and demonstrates why equitable attention to the HIV-related needs of these groups is essential to future progress on AIDS and why current efforts are failing to get the job done.
In light of growing evidence that antiretroviral therapy dramatically reduces the risk of HIV transmission,3,4 ensuring access to competent HIV testing and treatment services is a particular priority for these key populations and for the broader AIDS response.

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