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Global Forum on MSM and HIV, Speaking Out

The impact

Though our work is ongoing, we've achieved several important milestones thus far. Some of these include:

  • We've implemented five 5-day train-the-trainer training sessions in Morocco, Honduras and Vietnam.
  • Through these sessions, we've trained 65 advocates during the first two years of the project, and expect to have approximately 25 more individuals trained by the end of 2013.
  • In Honduras, thanks in part to the advocacy work done by several graduates from the training last year, we've recently seen an anti-discrimination law passed that includes sexual orientation.
  • Local MSM networks are starting to form in the MENA region and Vietnam.
  • We're also seeing impacts beyond the specific breakthrough initiatives. Generally, we're seeing higher level capacity on the ground – meaning that advocates are more effectively and more permanently engaging in local political processes thanks to the skills that they've acquired.
  • At AIDS 2012 in Washington, DC we were able to bring together local advocates from various regions to be together in the same space for the first time to speak cross-regionally to each other about lessons learned from Speaking Out, and the work they're doing in their respective countries.
  • Lastly, a two-year monitoring, evaluation and impact study is underway, which will allow us to more formally document the outcomes and impact of our initial work, and help us to plan for the coming years.

Key Facts

Project: Speaking Out

Run by: The Global Forum on MSM and HIV (MSMGF), in partnership with various local organisations at the country and regional levels

Region: The Middle East and North Africa (MENA region) and Central America; with other funders supporting the project in Vietnam, Cambodia and Kenya

Population: Gay men and other MSM; Transgender individuals

Challenges: Stigma and discrimination; policies and programmes that don’t address MSM or transgender people in the context of general HIV outreach; violence and harassment against gay men, other MSM and transgender people; criminalisation of same sex acts, particularly in certain Middle Eastern and North African countries

Activities: Development of a global advocacy tool kit (2009-2010), which was then translated, adapted and contextualised to meet regional and national needs; Implementation of intensive, local training curriculums based on the adapted content; Funding and technical assistance for breakthrough advocacy initiatives conceptualised during the training sessions

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