APCOM Policy Brief – "It all starts here: Estimating the size of populations of men who have sex with men and transgender people"
Over the past two years it has become increasingly clear that scaling up services to most-at-risk populations (MARPs) around the world, particularly in concentrated epidemics, has to be prioritized universal access to HIV prevention and care is to be achieved. An important challenge to reaching MARPs is that they are often marginalized, stigmatized and discriminated against. Partly as a result of this, and partly as a result of self-segregation, there is often a lack of information about these groups. If active efforts to significantly increase prevention, care and treatment service coverage for these vulnerable populations are to be made, we need to get to know their characteristics, including an estimation of the number of people that need these services.
Gay and other men who have sex with men (MSM1) and transgender persons (TG) in the Asia Pacific are one key vulnerable population that is at present being prioritized in the region. Early planning exercises have been hampered by limited knowledge of the size and other characteristics of this population. This policy brief addresses different approaches to assess the number of TG and MSM in countries in the region, information which is essential for planners and policy makers in planning the kinds of efforts and approaches as well as the amount of funds needed to scale up coverage.
Full text of Policy Brief available below –