Working with MSM in hostile environments

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The SHARP Programme

Although gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM) experience a disproportionate HIV burden, appropriate HIV and sexual health services for MSM are lacking or not available in most African contexts.

The Alliance has a long and committed history of working for and with MSM in Africa through programmes such as the Middle East North Africa (MENA) programme, KP Connect and the Sexual Health and Rights Programme (SHARP).

Through SHARP, the Alliance contributed to reducing the spread and impact of HIV among men who have sex with men and building healthy MSM communities in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe from December 2012 to November 2015.

SHARP worked through Alliance Linking Organisations (LOs) and Implementing Partners (IPs) to:

  • Increase reach of MSM, their sexual partners and family members
  • Increase access to and uptake of better quality HIV and health services
  • Enhance social, political and structural environments for evidence- and human rights-based public health interventions targeting MSM 
  • Strengthen MSM community-based organisations and networks and increase capacity of other sectors to better serve the needs of MSM

The SHARP Theory of Change comprised of interlinked strategies, as detailed in the interactive infographic below.

The programme was based on core Alliance values and principles, and our good practice HIV programming standards and guidance. Key values and principles relevant for this programme included:

  • Greater Involvement of People living with HIV (GIPA)
  • Human rights-based HIV programming
  • Taking a combination approach that reflects diversity
  • The use and generation of evidence
  • Risk mitigation and management
  • Interventions are complementary to the national HIV response