Finding and Engaging Men

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On Dolwe Island in Lake Victoria, community leaders came together to tackle the HIV crisis. q
On Dolwe Island in Lake Victoria, community leaders came together to tackle the HIV crisis.
Credit: Dana Inglehart/JSI, 2014


Overall, fewer men than women seek HIV testing, fewer men who are HIV-positive are on treatment, and fewer men on treatment are virologically suppressed. These three factors -- testing, treatment, and viral suppression -- make up the HIV clinical cascade, and USAID works to advance efforts to find, reach, and engage men across the cascade. In 2018, PEPFAR co-founded the MenStar Coalition, a client-centered public-private partnership that seeks to initiate more men living with HIV on life-saving treatment. USAID is part of the interagency group implementing the MenStar Strategy, which set out to reach an additional one million men with HIV treatment and ensure 90 percent of men tested become virally suppressed.

USAID is currently scaling up data-driven approaches to identifying programmatic gaps and providing support to efforts of finding and engaging men across ten priority countries: Côte d'Ivoire, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

USAID Impact

USAID works to better understand the root causes and areas of underperformance in regards to finding, reaching, and engaging men in prevention, care, and treatment, and applies evidence-based, tailored interventions to better serve this population to achieve epidemic control. USAID/OHA supports innovative approaches to deliver appropriate and effective HIV/AIDS services for men, increasing their rapid uptake of HIV testing, linkage to HIV treatment, and achievement of viral suppression.

By understanding root causes, areas of underperformance, and data-based interventions, USAID strives to close the gaps by working with implementing partners and country teams through targeted, cross-cutting interventions including:

  • Rolling-out testing options for men (e.g., self-testing, evening clinic hours)
  • Advancing multi-month dispensing
  • Scaling male-friendly sites and services (e.g., extended clinic hours, sensitized clinical staff)
  • Supporting strategic marketing efforts to improve treatment literacy and increase demand for services
  • Leveraging prevention services to find, treat, and retain men living with HIV
  • Exploring how to better reach partners of DREAMS beneficiaries
  • Alignment with key populations programming in order to reach male clients of female sex workers

2020 Achievements

PEPFAR has exceeded the goals in the MenStar coalition’s first two years, reaching 1.9 million additional men with treatment and helping 92 percent of them achieve viral suppression, effectively preventing their transmission of the virus to others.

  • As part of the work to find and engage men, USAID newly enrolled 708,859 men on treatment in FY19 and FY20.
  • Additionally, 92 percent of men with a reported viral load test in USAID-supported programs were virally suppressed.
  • Globally (excluding South Africa), 78 percent of men ages 15 and up in USAID’s HIV treatment program benefited from multi-month dispensing, an important client-centered approach to improving treatment retention, and received three or more months of life-saving antiretrovirals (ARVs).

Additional Resources

Last updated: May 07, 2021

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