The Latin America and the Caribbean region has deep and widespread inequalities and includes countries that are more unequal than those in other regions with similar levels of development. This affects access to health and HIV services, especially for key populations. Social and structural barriers are important drivers of inequality.
To better understand these social and structural barriers, Alianza Liderazgo Positivo y Poblaciones Clave (ALEP) is leading the multi-country study on the People Living with HIV 2.0 Stigma Index in four countries in the region: the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru and Nicaragua. Five other similar studies funded by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund) and in coordination with civil society, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the main beneficiaries of the Global Fund, the United Nations Population Fund and UNAIDS are independently ongoing in El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Panama and Paraguay.
The results of the joint initiative are expected to strengthen regional and global efforts to eliminate HIV-related stigma and discrimination through community-centered and evidence-based policies and programs.
“For the first time since the first study on the People Living with HIV Stigma Index in 2008, nine countries from the same region will conduct the study in coordination and within the same timeframe. This is unprecedented and will be instrumental in tackling HIV-related stigma and discrimination at both national and regional level, ”said Rodrigo Pascal, coordinator of the People Living with HIV Stigma Index 2.0 study. HIV from ALEP.
The People Living with HIV Stigma Index 2.0 gathers evidence on the impact of stigma and discrimination on the lives of people living with HIV, including key populations. It was developed for use by and for people living with HIV, including key populations, and was created to support the principle of greater involvement of people living with HIV, under which networks are empowered to lead the implementation of the study. The study is a first, as it is the first time that networks of people living with HIV have coordinated action with networks of key populations to promote human rights and access to comprehensive and differentiated HIV care in America. Latin.
“My motivation is to be part of the solution to the challenges imposed by stigma and discrimination, which are the main problems we, people living with HIV, have faced since the start of the epidemic.” HIV activist Gracia Violeta Ross Quiroga said. , which coordinates the implementation of the study on the stigma index in the Plurinational State of Bolivia. “I have hope in this research because it comes from the community, and such responses have been shown to be the most effective in the history of HIV.
ALEP is an innovative effort that combines the leadership, vision, capacities and strengths of regional networks from the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, from Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay and Peru. It works in partnership with the national coordinating bodies where a Global Fund program is in place, UNAIDS and the Pan American Health Organization.
“This is a solid example of how peers contribute to their own communities while addressing key overlapping issues, such as human rights, stigma and discrimination, and others. structural obstacles. It is primarily through communities, for communities, ”said Guillermo Marquez, Senior Community Support Advisor for the UNAIDS Regional Support Team for Latin America and the Caribbean.