Evidence-informed and planned HIV prevention for LGBT populations in Southern Africa, Latin America and Surinam

Published: August 1, 2008

Evidence-informed and planned HIV prevention for LGBT (lesbian gay bisexual transgender) populations in Southern Africa, Latin America and Surinam

Issues: HIV-prevention interventions are often hastily designed and based on mere assumptions. Too little attention is paid to the needs and possibilities of the target audiences, to proper implementation and to sustainability. This programme aims to support a planned approach to prevention for the LGBT population. It includes promoting a professional distance in relation to the target groups and integrating LGBT-targeted HIV prevention within more general, non-LGBT local structures that deal with HIV and STI.

Description: In collaboration with Schorer, the Dutch institute for gay and lesbian health and well-being, 17 organisations in the global South have started a programme with the aim to increase the quantity and quality of HIV prevention for LGBT populations. The programme began with needs assessments among previously selected LGBT sub-groups, including lesbian women, HIV+ MSM and young homosexuals in particular. For developing the needs assessments, the organisations set up an advisory board of experts from outside the organisations, with attention for a diversity of disciplines. Different methodologies were used for collecting data. Practical experiences were combined with theory from literature studies. Data analysis was done along with the external experts.

Lessons learned: Schorer’s experience is based on the ‘Intervention Mapping’ methodology. In developing a partner’s programmes, it is important to be flexible in applying the methodology, making use of the local context and the partner’s own experience. A needs assessment among the target group is itself already an intervention. The participation of external experts helps to integrate the programme.

Next steps: Based on the results of the needs assessments, each organisation will set up an HIV-prevention programme with interventions directed at the target group, at institutes and organisations and at the organisation itself. The latter two types of interventions will aim primarily at making services sustainable and integrating them within the local structures.

-Abstract available at link below-

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