The activity also seeks to promote innovative approaches to increase demand for quality services for HRI and address key structural barriers by addressing stigma and discrimination.
The goal of “Prevention Services Against HIV” is to support government and civil society partners in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama to provide comprehensive prevention services targeted to high-risk individuals, including but not limited to non-discriminatory counseling and testing services with a focus on strengthening linkage of HIV-positive individuals to appropriate clinical care and treatment.
GEOGRAPHICAL AND DEMOGRAPHIC APPROACH
At a regional-level (El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Panama), the project tailors its approach to reach high-risk individuals (HRI), especially men who have sex with other men (MSM), transgender women, and people living with HIV (PHIV) and their partners and sexual contacts.
Specifically in Guatemala, the geographic coverage includes Escuintla (Escuintla), Guatemala (Guatemala), Izabal (Puerto Barrios), Quetzaltenango (Quetzaltenango), Retalhuleu (Retalhuleu), Petén (Flores), San Marcos (Malacatán), and Zacapa (Zacapa).
CONTEXT AND CHALLENGES
The project works to address the challenge of reducing the gaps between diagnosis, linkage, treatment, and viral suppression in Central America, especially among highly vulnerable and stigmatized populations. The project works to integrate the private sector to the HIV response to provide high-quality prevention services that are friendly towards HRI, as well as to introduce and expand innovative services that reduce barriers, such as HIV self-testing and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) services through the private sector. Moreover, the project makes use of digital channels, social media, mobile phone apps and other virtual platforms to ensure that difficult access populations have HIV prevention information, referrals, and services.
APPROACH AND RESULTS
The emphasis of the activity is on reaching HRI with comprehensive prevention services and community-focused high yield testing strategies, as well as strengthening the linkage for positive-diagnosed individuals to care and treatment. The activity also seeks to promote innovative approaches to increase demand for quality services for HRI and address key structural barriers by addressing stigma and discrimination. This will be achieved through the following three objectives:
- Increase access to and demand for comprehensive prevention services with an emphasis on reaching, testing, and linking HIV-positive individuals to care and treatment services.
- Reduce community-level stigma and discrimination barriers that prevent access to HIV prevention services at the community level and private service delivery points for high-risk individuals.
- Support the design or modification of prevention and testing activities through an operational research and monitoring process.
This project is expected to run from September, 2020 through August, 2025 with an estimated total USAID investment of $16,500,000.
USAID’s implementer for this project is Pan American Social Marketing Organization (PASMO).