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Empowering key populations in Bolivia

  • Empowering key populations in Bolivia

    We strive for a world where all people can successfully claim their rights – including people living with HIV and sex workers  This program aims to reduce new HIV infections among high-risk populations (also referred to as key populations): men who have sex with men, sex workers, and transgender people.

    Why key populations need support

    The rate of HIV among Bolivia’s general population is low at 0.3%. But there is an HIV epidemic concentrated mostly among high-risk populations. Over 80% of diagnosed cases are registered in La Paz, Cochabamba, and Santa Cruz. The prevalence rate in these cities is 21% among men who have sex with men, 19.7% among transgender people, and 4.3% among sex workers. To reach these groups we need to first eliminate the stigma, discrimination and violence restricting their access to HIV services. Then reduce the gap between positive testing and following treatment.

    The innovative approaches we use

    The project uses innovative approaches to prevent HIV and promote testing. For example mobile units and community centers to increase HIV testing among those groups that are hard to reach. A system of peer-educators and a mobile app are cost-effective interventions to deliver targeted information to key populations, and increase testing and awareness. The project also supports local community-based organizations in setting up safe spaces for key populations and raising awareness through trainings and campaigns. This will help reduce HIV-related stigma and discrimination within health care centers.

    Where

    Bolivia

    Results so far

    The project began in January 2019. Although it is too soon to report on outcomes and outputs, it is already supporting local civil society organizations to train members of the target groups: men who have sex with men, transgender persons, and sex workers to be peer-educators. Since February 2019, community-based centers began offering HIV testing and diagnosis of sexually transmitted diseases. The mobile units are already operating in the La Paz, Cochabamba and Santa Cruz, reaching the groups which are at a higher risk of contracting HIV.

    Period and budget

    2019-2021, US$ 9.1 million

    Donor and partners

    The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria with local partners in Bolivia.

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