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close this bookRegional Consultation on HIV/AIDS Prevention, Care and Support Programmes in Latin America and the Caribbean for Men Who Have Sex with Men (UNAIDS, 1999, 28 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentForeword
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentRegional Overview of HIV/AIDS Prevention, Care and Support Programmes for MSM
View the documentNetworking
View the documentSWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats)
View the documentProcedural Manual for Measures for Men who Have Sex with Men
View the documentRecommendations by the Regional Consultation
View the documentAnnex 1: Participants and acknowledgements

Recommendations by the Regional Consultation

The Regional consultation on HIV/AIDS prevention, care and support programmes in Latin America and the Caribbean for men who have sex with men proposed a series of recommendations to UNAIDS, cooperation agencies, governments, national HIV/AIDS programmes, nongovernmental organizations and community-based organizations.

The consultation’s participants were aware of their responsibility and of the urgency of the epidemic, and proposed that the recommendations should be made known regionally with the support of UNAIDS. It was also suggested that at the country level the UN Theme Group on HIV/AIDS and NGOs working with the MSM community should organize intersectoral outreach activities.

Given the importance of the technical cooperation agencies in the region and their neglect of this issue, they should participate in the follow-up to the consultation. Finally, the participants proposed the establishment of a UNAIDS Task Force for the region to contribute to the follow-up of these recommendations. It is hoped that these recommendations will contribute to a comprehensive, multisectoral, technical and ethical response, taking into account the epidemiological profile of Latin America and the Caribbean and of its subregions and countries, for the benefit of the population most affected by the epidemic in the region.

To facilitate their dissemination, the full text of the recommendations is provided below:

BogotColombia

Regional consultation on HIV/AIDS prevention, care and support programmes in Latin America and the Caribbean for men who have sex with men

Recommendations

We, the representatives of the national AIDS programmes of Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico, NGOs and gay organizations from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala and Puerto Rico, of PAHO in Colombia and the Caribbean, gathered in BogotColombia, from 12 to 15 June 1997 to participate in the Regional consultation on HIV/AIDS prevention, care and support programmes with men who have sex with men in Latin America and the Caribbean.

During these three days, we analysed the situation of HIV transmission between men who have sex with men and the governmental and nongovernmental response. On the basis of a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis of epidemiological data and government and nongovernmental policies, we recommend that:

I. Governments and national STD/HIV/AIDS programmes

1.1 Formulate and enact national legislation that will defend the human rights of all people, including those of sexual minorities and people living with HIV/AIDS in the region.

1.2 Publish and disseminate the legislation at all levels and implement information campaigns to make them known and enforce them.

1.3 Establish coherency in the formulation of local and national policies and legislation on HIV/AIDS, taking into account international agreements and treaties.

1.4 Repeal all laws, norms and regulations that penalize sexual relations between people of the same sex or discriminate against sexual minorities.

1.5 Enact laws and other legal measures, which specifically include the following aspects:

· prohibition of obligatory HIV tests;

· respect for confidentiality

· access to HIV/AIDS promotion, prevention, comprehensive care and rehabilitation services;

· access to specific treatment for HIV/AIDS;

· the right to autonomy of people living with HIV/AIDS;

1.6 Exchange, distribute and analyse information on HIV/AIDS legislation and plan action on HIV/AIDS and human rights at the local and national level with community participation.

2. Promote intersectoral activities on HIV/AIDS (health, education, justice, communications, labour, etc.) as a joint effort with the private sector, through co-financing.

3. Strengthen and contextualize projects, specific campaigns and health promotion, prevention and care policies targeted at and developed with the participation of the most vulnerable populations, and particularly MSM.

4. Promote scientific research into the sexuality (behaviour, identity) and sexual health of men who have sex with men.

5. Promote research on sexuality, sexual health, human rights and the construction of masculinity.

6. Incorporate the issue of men who have sex with men into government sexual health campaigns in the mass media.

7. Promote cooperation between governments, pharmaceutical companies, international cooperation agencies and organizations of people living with HIV/AIDS to ensure access to drugs and the reduction of their cost.

8. Implement prevention programmes, multinational cooperation and the promotion of equal civil rights between bordering countries.

9. Strengthen government policies based on scientific and lay precepts whose primary ethical objective is to reduce the transmission of HIV.

10. Create supportive environments for HIV/AIDS prevention and care for men who have sex with men, through community development, anti-discrimination campaigns in the mass media and other activities.

11. Facilitate the implementation of the recommendations made to UNAIDS, to technical cooperation agencies, national programmes and to the NGOs mentioned in this document.

II. Nongovernmental organizations and community-based organizations

1. Prepare and publish a directory describing projects undertaken with men who have sex with men in Latin America and the Caribbean, indicating their principal characteristics, methodologies and an evaluation, and distribute it to organizations which work or might work on this issue.

2. Promote and organize training seminars between organizations working with men who have sex with men, at the local, national, subregional and regional levels, in order to strengthen them in terms of project planning and management methodologies and organizational development.

3. Strengthen and professionalize NGOs with experience in the areas of care, setting strategies such as empowerment, counselling, legal advice and outpatient care.

4. Promote the inclusion of the issue of men who have sex with men and human rights on the agendas of NGOs and CBOs which are progressive in social, political and cultural terms, in order to build strategic alliances.

5. Encourage the presence and participation of organizations working with men who have sex with men in conferences, seminars, congresses or other related national and international events in order to improve the exchange of experience with other organizations and create opportunities for debate and problem solving.

6. Improve media awareness of homo- and bi-sexuality, human rights and HIV/AIDS through counselling and training in order to reduce stigmatization, discrimination and repression of sexual minorities.

7. Promote, support and advise training activities which contribute to improving the awareness of health workers, in order to reduce discrimination against sexual minorities and people living with HIV/AIDS.

8. Reorient the discussion of HIV/AIDS as a political issue by supporting lobbying, cooperation, denunciation and advocacy to strengthen leadership among and improve the quality of life of men who have sex with men, other sexual minorities and persons living with HIV/AIDS.

9. Facilitate the distribution of information on the HIV/AIDS epidemic from a community perspective and with a sense of social responsibility to improve the national and regional response to the epidemic.

10. Reinforce activities that lead to an improvement in quality of life, access to treatment, care and support for people living with HIV/AIDS, while respecting their autonomy and human rights.

11. Help to improve the quality of epidemiological records, reporting and data analysis in order to gain a more accurate view of the epidemic, while at the same time ensuring respect for human rights.

12. Make the relationship between NGOs, CBOs, governments and technical cooperation agencies more egalitarian so as to permit balanced participation and foster consensus.

III. The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS

1. Policy development and research

1.1 Analyse the available epidemiological data from Latin America and the Caribbean on men who have sex with men, including information on viral subtypes, especially in the regions where the transmission of HIV between men who have sex with men is “apparently” insignificant, so that these epidemiological data may be verified.

1.2 Expand research to include qualitative and quantitative models relating to HIV/AIDS, with community participation and provide the necessary advice and technical and financial cooperation.

1.3 Undertake studies to validate risk reduction models at the community level and promote peer participation regarding HIV/AIDS, with an emphasis on the sociocultural aspects of communities of men who have sex with men.

1.4 Strengthen and support the exchange of information and experience between groups, institutions and networks specifically involved with men who have sex with men.

1.5 Organize training seminars for NGOs and groups working with men who have sex with men on the logical framework for, and management and evaluation of, projects.

2. Technical support

2.1 Strengthen the UN Theme Groups on HIV/AIDS through regular consultation with the community, ad hoc training and the allocation of resources to carry out the related projects.

2.2 Formulate guidelines for technical cooperation in the implementation of measures aimed at this population, in collaboration with NGOs with experience and active in the field.

2.3 Organize training seminars for NGOs, national programmes and other organizations on how to respond to the needs of men who have sex with men regarding HIV/AIDS, through the Department of Country Planning and Programme Development, the Department of Policy, Strategy and Research and the UN Theme Groups on HIV/AIDS, with the cooperation of governments and national STD/HIV/AIDS programmes.

3. Advocacy

3.1 Ensure that sufficient and necessary funding is earmarked for activities with the populations most vulnerable to HIV/AIDS including men who have sex with men, in order to promote a comprehensive and multisectoral response which is technically, ethically and strategically sound, and which takes into account the epidemiological profile.

4. Coordination

4.1 Promote an adequate response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic among men who have sex with men, in accordance with the epidemiological data, taking into account the importance of coordination between United Nations agencies, and in support of the national response.

5. Task force

5.1 Set up a task force on HIV/AIDS prevention, care and support for men who have sex with men in Latin America and the Caribbean in order to follow up these recommendations, and develop commitment and greater involvement of key actors. The task force should accelerate programme activities by:

· clarifying strategies
· harmonizing efforts
· mobilizing additional resources.

To achieve a strategic mix of technical, political, financial and institutional resources, we propose the following names which UNAIDS could consider:

· Rafael Freda, Argentina
· Paulo Junqueira, Brazil
· RubMayorga, Guatemala
· Orlando Montoya, Ecuador
· Toni Reis, Brazil
· Jeff Stanton, Colombia
· Josoro-Alfonso, Puerto Rico.

6. Other recommendations from the consultation

6.1 Facilitate the implementation of the recommendations made to governments, national programmes, technical cooperation agencies and the NGOs mentioned in this document.

IV. Technical cooperation and financial agencies, international NGOs and other agencies working in AIDS:

1. Take into account the impact of the epidemic among the population of men who have sex with men and consequently allocate adequate and proportional resources.

2. Facilitate the implementation of the recommendations made to UNAIDS, governments, national programmes and the NGOs mentioned in this document.

V. Participants in the regional consultation

1. We shall disseminate the recommendations made by the regional consultation.

2. We shall create a follow-up committee to make the recommendations widely known and facilitate their implementation. To this end, we appoint the following members of the Committee:

· Rafael Freda, Argentina
· Paulo Junqueira, Brazil
· RubMayorga, Guatemala
· Orlando Montoya, Ecuador
· Toni Reis, Brazil
· Jeff Stanton, Colombia
· Josoro-Alfonso, Puerto Rico.