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Empowering key populations in Bolivia

HIV prevention
  • Empowering key populations in Bolivia

    Aim

    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.

    Where

    Bolivia

    Why

    Even though the prevalence rate of HIV among the general population in Bolivia is low at 0.3%, 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. The country’s priorities include eliminating the high levels of stigma, discrimination and violence restricting access to HIV services, as well as reducing the gap between positive testing and adherence to treatment.

    How

    The project uses innovative approaches to HIV prevention and promotion of testing. A prevention package, including mobile units and community centers, aims 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.

    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.