In the fight against HIV and ending AIDS, the key populations community have become more capacitated to participate and engage in the national discussions about HIV programs needed to address the gaps in HIV testing, prevention and treatment at the country level. A number of initiatives, including technical assistance programs, were implemented at regional and country level to increase meaningful participation of the key population networks within the Global Fund New Funding Model.
In 2019, APCOM led the implementation of the community-based monitoring under the Sustainability of HIV Services for Key Populations in Asia (SKPA) Program. Led by Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO) as the principle recipient of the Global Fund, the SKPA is an eight-country initiative to scale up and promote HIV prevention services for communities most affected by HIV.
The community-based monitoring is a mechanism by which service users gather, analyse and use information on an ongoing basis to improve access to, quality and impact of services, and hold service providers and decision makers to account. In the case of HIV, the service users are the key populations. The community-based monitoring is an essential initiative, which is community-led, to assess quality, availability and accessibility of services and using the information to increase the update of HIV testing by key populations, linkage to treatment, and viral suppression. APCOM will support community sub-recipients of the SKPA program in the adaptation of the tools for local use.
The country sub-recipient in Mongolia is Youth For Health, a key population-led organisation advocating for human rights of sexual minority groups in Mongolia. In 2019, APCOM and Youth For Health, started to develop the community based monitoring that is applicable in the contexts of the country. APCOM provided technical support to Youth For Health and its partners in relation to identifying the areas to be monitored by the community, the clinical sites where it will be implemented, and the partners who may be able to support the gathering of data and analysis of results.
For this year, APCOM will continue supporting the Youth For Health to rollout the community-based monitoring and the gathering of data.