FROM STIGMA TO STRENGTH – Strategies for MSM, Transgender People and Allies in a Shifting AIDS Landscape

The Global Forum on MSM & HIV (MSMGF) is organizing today (21st July, 2012) the fifth MSM Pre-Conference event to the International AIDS Conference, to be held in Washington, DC. This year’s theme is: From Stigma to Strength: Strategies for MSM, Transgender People and Allies in a Shifting AIDS Landscape. Since its inception in 2006, the MSM Pre-Conference has grown to become the largest global gathering of activists, researchers, implementers and donors focused on the health and human rights of men who have sex with men.

The MSM Pre-Conference will provide a platform for up to 500 participants to exchange the most recent research, best practices, and advocacy strategies that advance the overall goal of universal access. The event will also include networking opportunities and skills building sessions focused on the changing research, programmatic, and policy landscapes in the AIDS sector.

Alliance India is speaking at various sessions and ensuring that the voices of millions are heard. For a more complete overview of sessions visit here.

James Robertson, Country Director, India HIV/AIDS Alliance is moderating a session today morning on Keeping the Pressure Up: A Dialogue with Donors on Increasing HIV Investments Targeted at Programs for MSM and Transgender People

This session on global financing is designed as a dialogue between donors and advocates on donor accountability and the lack of meaningful tracking of resources intended for MSM and transgender HIV programs. The panel will feature experts representing bilateral, multilateral, and private philanthropic agencies. Strategies for what advocates can do at the regional, national, and global levels to directly and meaningfully engage with donors will be discussed.

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Simran Shaikh, Programme Officer, Pehchan, India HIV/AIDS Alliance is a speaker for the session on Mounting an Advocacy Response Against Human Rights Violations and Abuses Faced by Transgender Communities Worldwide

This session will feature a panel of trans activists who will discuss various ways in which human rights abuses exacerbate HIV risk and negative health outcomes among transgender communities worldwide. Case study examples highlighting strategies for documenting and challenging these violations at the local, national, regional, and global levels will be discussed. The panelists will shed light on recent successes related to the removing of legal barriers among transgender people in Argentina, Australia, the United States, India, and Sweden.

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Jonathan Ripley, former Manager for Advocacy and Policy, Pehchan, India HIV/AIDS Alliance will moderate the session on Speaking Out Loud: Effective Strategies for Managing the Challenges Associated With MSM-Led Advocacy in Central America, North Africa, and Southeast Asia

This session will feature activists from North Africa, Central America, and Southeast Asia sharing their real-life experiences implementing advocacy strategies utilizing a community-led advocacy toolkit for the health and human rights of MSM. Major objectives include sharing the key steps involved with developing and implementing locally specific adaptations of Speaking Out; discussion of the major challenges, successes, and lessons learned from the Speaking Out process; and implications for future regional advocacy activities and initiatives. This session goal is to explore the commonalities, differences, and synergies that occurred while building advocacy capacity for MSM across the 3 regions. Participants will gain an enhanced understanding of the different experiences, knowledge, and approaches used to implement advocacy trainings for HIV and MSM activists in diverse regions. It is expected that this discussion will encourage South-South exchange, maximizing tools and resources to develop and implement local and international advocacy strategies.

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Alvaro Bermejo, Executive Director, International HIV/AIDS Alliance will speak on Challenges and Opportunities for Global Fund–Led HIV Programs Among MSM and Transgender People in Low – and Middle-Income Countries

This session is exclusively focused on Global Fund HIV programs among MSM and transgender people. This will give advocates the opportunity to learn more about recent changes within the Fund and the implications of these changes for key populations. Panelists for the session each represent the various core structures of the Fund (Board, Secretariat, Country Coordinating Mechanism, and Grant Recipient) and therefore will bring unique perspectives to the dialogue.

If you have any questions, please contact us at info@allianceindia.org. You can also view our AIDS 2012 Roadmap for all India HIV/AIDS Alliance sessions at the International AIDS Conference. We hope to see you at AIDS 2012!

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