A coalition of regional key population networks responding to the impact of HIV in Asia and the Pacific is calling for its members to be more involved in managing key grants from the internationally funded Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (the Global Fund).
Earlier this month, the Global Fund and UNAIDS co-hosted a regional consultation on the terms of reference for the multi-country grant to support the sustainable scale-up of HIV services for key populations in South and East Asia. A similar process also took place in Latin America and Caribbean, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and Middle East and North Africa region.
The leaders of the regional key population networks represented communities which are most affected by HIV in the region, such as men who have sex with men, transgender people, sex workers, people who use drugs, young people, and people living with HIV, including APCOM, the Asia Pacific Transgender Network, the Asia Pacific Network of People Living With HIV, the Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers, the Asian Network of People Who Use Drugs, International Community of Women Living With HIV Asia Pacific, and Youth LEAD. These networks along with country representatives from Bhutan, Laos, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines and Timor-Leste, UN, Development and government partners, and principal recipients of the Global Fund grants attended the one day meeting to provide feedback on the terms of reference for the next round of the multi-country HIV projects.
While acknowledging the vital role that the Global Fund plays in the Asia Pacific HIV response, APCOM Executive Director Midnight Poonkasetwattana said the coalition of key population networks wants the terms of reference for its multi-country grants to enhance the participation of local community organisations in all relevant decision-making processes.
“Communities affected by HIV are best placed to determine the most effective way to respond to their needs, and I was impressed with the consultation as the Global Fund team was looking to meaningfully engage with the communities.,” Mr Poonkasetwattana said.
In practice, Mr Poonkasetwattana said this means greater influence from relevant community organisations over the way that the Global Fund grant administration is allocated and managed. Read more via APCOM