Two New PEPFAR eLearning Courses on Key Populations
Although much progress has been made in the fight against HIV/AIDS, we still have more work and learning to do.
We have learned over the last decade that HIV prevention efforts must be targeted. Even in countries where there is a general epidemic, interventions for key populations are critical and could have a significant impact on the epidemic as a whole.
For this reason, it’s important to learn more about programming best practices for key populations as well as develop robust systems to effectively monitor and evaluate these programs.
If you are interested in learning more, check out two new eLearning courses on key populations: Designing HIV Prevention Programs for Key Populations and M&E Guidelines for Sex Workers, Men Who Have Sex With Men, & Transgender Populations-National Level.
The Designing HIV Prevention Programs for Key Populations course provides field staff and country implementing partners with best practices in designing and implementing a comprehensive package of HIV services that meet the specific needs and circumstances of different population sub-groups.
Key populations are distinct sub-groups within the general population who are at higher risk of exposure to HIV, who engage in highly stigmatized behaviors and who are often marginalized in their own societies and thus have reduced access to health care and other public services.
In most settings, the key populations are people who inject drugs, men who have sex with men, sex workers, and transgender people.
When putting together a package of services for a key population, it is essential to include members of that population in the development process. It is equally important to identify a role for them in both the implementation and the monitoring of the program.
The M&E Guidelines for Sex Workers, Men Who Have Sex With Men, & Transgender Populations-National Level course presents a framework for monitoring and evaluating HIV programs for sex workers, men who have sex with men, and transgender people. It translates the 234-page Operational Guidelines for Monitoring and Evaluation of HIV Programmes for Sex Workers, Men who have Sex with Men, and Transgender People - Volume I National and Sub-National Levels into an eLearning course.
The Guidelines were developed as part of a multiagency effort involving the contributions of more than 30 individuals from a number of organizations – both governmental and intergovernmental. It’s an excellent example of multiagency coordination for strengthening HIV/AIDS M&E systems.
In order to determine whether HIV prevention programs for key populations are meeting their objectives, being implemented as planned, and are efficient in terms of using resources wisely to achieve desired outcomes, it is crucial that M&E staff and systems are in place. The eLearning course was developed in an effort to expand access to the Guidelines in a more simplified format.
This course can be taken by individuals and groups of stakeholders interested in and working to improve programs for sex workers, men who have sex with men, and transgender populations. These individuals may include but are not limited to:
- Country managers of HIV program (Government)
- Country directors of national NGOs
- M&E focal persons at National and Sub-National Levels
- National or sub-national surveillance units
- Donor agencies
- Global agencies (such as the UN agencies, Global Fund, World Bank, etc.)
Register or sign in to the Global Health eLearning Center to take the courses as well as gain free access to more than 50 other courses on a variety of global health topics.
 The 2011 UNAIDS World AIDS Report acknowledges that new HIV infections continue to fall and more people than ever are starting treatment. "Yet, to be effective, the AIDS response must be transformed. We need to move from a short-term, piecemeal approach to a long-term strategic response with matching investment." One of the high-impact, high-value strategies set forth by UNAIDS and international partners is to focus on people at higher risk of HIV infection.