Over the past 15 years there has been increasing recognition of the significant contribution of key populations (KPs) to HIV transmission in eastern and southern Africa (ESA). However, these groups suffer from stigma, discrimination and legal challenges, which make it difficult for them to receive HIV services. In some countries in the ESA region the heightened need for effective HIV prevention for KPs has been recognised and has resulted in significant policy developments, funding, and provision of services. In others, conservative social values mean that antagonism towards KPs remains widespread and politicians are wary of being seen to be supportive. This results in weak or non-existent policy and programming for KPs, and in the language of the Sustainable Development Goals, these populations are potentially “left behind.”

Nordic Consulting Group was commissioned by EHPSA to try and understand how positive change has come about for KPs, even in countries with hostile socio-legal environments. Nine case studies investigate the processes leading to a significant step, or steps, in advancing policy and programming for HIV prevention. They also identify the key actors and understand important contributing factors and tactics that brought about the change. The research analysis has specifically reviewed the role of civil society organisations in contributing to change.

The final brief was published in September 2018, and it can be accessed here

NCG Partners Catrine ShroffLouise Scheibel Smed and Julie Thaarup are involved in the project.