February 21, 2024

SSLN | Link & Learn on Setting Up a TWG and Meaningfully Involving the KP Community in the HIV Response

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Introduction

Technical Working Groups (TWGs) act as strategic hubs, bringing together diverse stakeholders like government agencies, healthcare professionals, and community organisation. This collective expertise fosters a comprehensive understanding of the HIV landscape, allowing for informed decision-making and the development of effective, context-specific strategies.

Beyond building strong partnerships, meaningfully engaging Key Populations (KPs) is crucial. These groups, often disproportionately affected by HIV, possess invaluable knowledge from their lived experiences. Including KPs in the design and implementation of HIV programs ensures interventions are culturally appropriate, address their specific needs, and reach them effectively. By fostering trust and reducing stigma, this engagement encourages access to essential services.

Objectives

  • Explore the HIV epidemics in Côte d'Ivoire  and Uganda.
  • Understand Uganda's experience in establishing a Key Population (KP) Technical Working Group (TWG)
  • Explore strategies for effectively involving KP communities in the HIV response.
Proceedings

The session chaired by  Parinita Bhattacharjee (SSLN) began with opening remarks by Dr. Daniel Byamukama (Uganda AIDS Commission), highlighting the importance of collaboration and knowledge sharing in tackling the HIV epidemic.

Dr. Rabé Cyprien (PNLS) from Côte d'Ivoire provided valuable insights into the country's HIV landscape and their experience in establishing a KP-TWG. The presentation emphasized the importance of diverse stakeholder engagement and the crucial role of KPs in shaping effective responses. Dr. Cyprien further elaborated on strategies for actively involving the KP community in various aspects of the HIV response.

Dr. Peter Mudiope (Ministry of Health)from Uganda shared the country's experience with the HIV epidemic. Dr Gerald Pande (Ministry of Health) then highlighted the specific steps Uganda took to set up their KP-TWG, highlighting its structure, purpose, and achievements.

The session then transitioned into an interactive segment, where champions engaged in a lively discussion and Q&A session, exchanging practical ideas and experiences related to establishing TWGs and engaging KPs. The session concluded with a dedicated session focusing on key takeaways from Congo, South Sudan, and Zambia.

‍Resources

The recording and presentation from this session can be accessed below.

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