Whilst much progress has been made in global and country HIV responses since the first cases of AIDS were identified 40 years ago, this progress remains unequal and, in some contexts, acutely inadequate in meeting the needs of different key populations: sex workers, gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM), transgender people, people who inject drugs and prisoners. Key populations accounted for at least 65% of new infections globally in 2020 and 93% of new infections outside subSaharan Africa. There has been slow progress in reducing new infections among key populations, limited scale-up of combination prevention, testing and treatment programmes, and slow progress in addressing the barriers that prevent key populations from accessing the HIV and health services they need.
UNAIDS, WHO, UNODC and UNESCO Evaluation Offices have jointly managed an independent evaluation of the UN Joint Programme on AIDS work with key populations. The evaluation combined a global consultation and document review with six in-depth country case studies, engaging key populations in all stages of the evaluation. The Joint Programme is recognized for supporting key population responses. However, advocacy to defend the human rights needs to increase and programming needs prioritizing to address inequalities and pockets of high incidence. Inclusive planning processes are needed to enhance the relevance of Joint Programme activities, as well as a stronger monitoring and reporting system. To ensure financial sustainability, there is need for more investments for key populations as well as integration of HIV services and making UHC work for different key population groups. The evaluation helps understanding what support to community-led responses means in practice.
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