Building the capacity of HIV providers in health and community settings to respond to GBV among MSM/TG

Published: August 1, 2008

Building the capacity of HIV providers in health and community settings to respond to GBV among MSM/TG

Issues: Gender-based violence is central to MSM and transgender(TG)vulnerability to HIV,especially in the context of sex work.Data also suggest that GBV among MSM/TG limit access to HIV prevention, care and treatment.Yet,few interventions address this vulnerability in the context of health care services. To address this gap,a pilot project was developed in Mexico and Thailand to integrate routine screening for gender-based violence(GBV)into HIV-related services. Building health workers capacities and developing new materials that synthesize and made explicit links between GBV within the context of HIV vulnerability for MSM/TG were deemed crucial.

Description: Based on formative research with 25 service providers in Mexico,the pilot identified capacity building needs among providers in the foundational areas of gender and sexuality,stigma and discrimination reduction specific to MSM/TG,and gender-based violence–as well as the specific roles,responsibilities,systems level changes,and individual skills needed among service providers to screen for gender-based violence. A 30 hour curriculum was developed with these modules, and piloted in two training sessions in Mexico with 56 providers from 8 clinics;the curriculum was subsequently adapted to the Thai context.

Lessons learned: Addressing GBV among MSM/TG in a health services setting requires addressing fundamental issues related to health systems capacity to integrate gender equity and reduce stigma and discrimination.Prior lessons learned from efforts to address gender,gender-based violence,and reduce HIV-related S&D in health systems were invaluable. In evaluation of the training, service providers reported that it was valuable, allowed them to acquire new knowledge and comprehension on issues linked with GBV,S&D and HIV in their daily performance in the clinic,and the initial impact of the training has included commitment to enacting accompanying systems levels changes in provision of services and systems of reference in order to respond to GBV among MSM/TG.

Next steps: After the training a pilot project was implemented in 3 clinics in Mexico.A final evaluation will take place in June 2008.

-Abstract available at link below-

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