Dear Friends and Supporters,
Bringing MPact into the new decade means taking innovative approaches to our work. We have never been afraid to break the mold, to speak truth to power, and to spring into action when we see the needs of our community are not being met.
This last year, MPact took a stand. We held firm in our commitments to always put community first, to value the voices of our partners above all else, and to build spaces for civil society to convene and connect in spite an ever-shifting landscape.
2019 saw great advances across the world including the decriminalization of consensual same-sex sexual behavior between adults in Botswana and Angola; a successful replenishment campaign resulting in $14.02 billion for the Global Fund; the start-up of the long-awaited Key Population Investment Fund; and the renewed mandate for the Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity at the UN Human Rights Council.
But there were also major set-backs. They included the loss of a potentially gamechanging decriminalization lawsuit in Kenya; the introduction of a new law criminalizing same-sex behaviors in Gabon; a Political Declaration from the High Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage which failed to adequately articulate the health needs and human rights of key populations; and the continuing shift away from funding that supports programs for HIV among key populations.
There is still much work to be done. This coming year, we have pledged to work to keep advocates abreast of developments in the field of global health including the COVID-19 pandemic and its implications for our collective work in the HIV, sexual health and human rights spaces. We hope you will join us as we work to ensure our communities stay front and center.
George Ayala, PsyD
MPact Global Action for Gay Men’s Health and Rights was founded in 2006 by a group of activists concerned about the disproportionate HIV disease burden shouldered by men who have sex with men. MPact works at the intersection of sexual health and human rights, and is linked to more than 120 community-based organizations in 62 countries who are leading innovative solutions to the challenges faced by gay and bisexual men around the world.