2020 is a critical year for the global HIV response, as the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund) are embarking on new strategy development processes. By all accounts and confirmed by the latest 2020 UNAIDS report, the world is terribly off track to meet global targets to curb new HIV infections. This is especially true for gay and bisexual men and other key populations, who have been systematically denied rights, equity, and justice in the HIV response.
Below we describe how gay and bisexual men can participate in these strategy development processes. In order to get on track in the global HIV response and set ambitious strategies that will work for our communities, MPact encourages advocates to consult our key messages from our blog “The HIV Response We Need: Gay and Bisexual Men Demand Equity and Justice on the Road to Ending HIV and to reclaim the HIV response”
UNAIDS has begun its Beyond 2021 Strategy Development process, which will be conducted over the next nine months with the goal to be adopted at a March 2021 UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board (PCB) Special Session. Through the end of 2020, there will be multiple opportunities for communities to input into the strategy development, which will build off the current UNAIDS 2016-2021 strategy.
The UNAIDS strategy is extremely important, because it sets the global targets, goals, and vision for ending the epidemic of AIDS by 2030. The strategy will impact the ways that UNAIDS country teams and regional programs provide technical support to national AIDS commissions and civil society, as well as open opportunities for communities to participate in local and national responses.
One important component of the input process is the invitation to communities to conduct Focus Group Discussions (FGDs), utilizing a comprehensive toolkit and guidelines created by UNAIDS (click on the “toolkit” tab to access an overview PowerPoint, template for reporting, and How to Guide). UNAIDS recommends conducting a two- to three-hour FGD with 20-25 participants on a thematic chosen by the facilitator(s).
The template asks for the following information:
- Description of main characteristics of the theme explored in your FGD
- Main messages on this theme with regard to:
- Reaching the Person
- The Structures that Respond to HIV
- Contextual Environment
- Emerging Patterns
- Recommendations to UNAIDS on the strategy (continue / start / stop)
MPact strongly encourages community-based organizations led by gay and bisexual men to organize their own focus groups and submit a reporting template. Feel free to reach out to MPact for support for how to plan, adapt, or implement a FGD in your local context.
Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
The Global Fund Strategy is a multi-year reference for the Fund’s strategic direction, setting out priorities for how it supports responses against HIV, tuberculosis and malaria and contributes to improving global health. More than halfway through the Strategy 2017-2022, the Global Fund has now started the process for developing the next Strategy, which will begin in 2023.
The Global Fund is the biggest multilateral funding source for HIV, TB, and malaria; it has placed, and funded, community, rights, and gender (CRG) approaches as essential elements of effective responses against the three diseases. As a result of strong advocacy by communities and civil society, two out of the four highest strategic objectives in the Fund’s Strategy 2017-2022 are “promote and protect human rights” and “build resilient and sustainable systems for health.” The next Strategy will impact the lives of key, vulnerable and marginalized communities, which the Global Fund was built to serve. It is crucial that communities weigh in and help shape this upcoming and all other future strategies of the Global Fund.
The Global Fund encourages all stakeholders to contribute feedback via the open consultations on: identifying the most pressing challenges and opportunities in the fight against the three diseases; building resilient and sustainable systems for health; promoting and protecting human rights and gender equality; and mobilizing resources.
The first round of input must be submitted by 1 September 2020, and it will be reviewed by the Global Fund Board’s Strategy Committee in October 2020. Partnership forums will take place in 2021 where communities will also be invited to attend.
For further information, updates and consultation opportunities, visit: www.theglobalfund.org/en/strategy-development
Information on the process is available in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Russian and Arabic.
SURVEY DEADLINE: 1 September 2020
MPact is committed to sharing regular information on the UNAIDS and Global Fund Strategy development processes, as well as supporting effective engagement of gay and bisexual men to elevate their concerns at the global level.