MENA programme

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) programme is working to improve the sexual health of men who have sex with men.

Being gay in a country where same sex activity is illegal and or heavily discriminated against, makes it very difficult for men who have sex with men (MSM) to access the HIV prevention and treatment services that they are entitled to.

Although overall HIV prevalence is low in the Middle East and North Africa region, it has one of the fastest growing concentrated epidemics in the world, with sex between men accounting for nearly one quarter of new infections - exacerbated by high rates of stigma and discrimination.

The MENA programme is effectively reaching MSM in a region where such work was once thought to be near impossible. It works with implementing partners in over ten sites in Algeria, Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia to:

  1. Improve access to prevention, care and support services for MSM and people living with HIV.
  2. Increase the quality of these services.
  3. Create an enabling environment for HIV services by influencing local, national and regional level policy and attitudes.

Our partner organisations implement a package of services aimed at MSM, including peer education and support, condom distribution, HIV testing and counselling, and referral for STI diagnosis and treatment. They have also developed health information materials and training tools in the local languages.

Our partners on the MENA programme are:

  • In Algeria: Association de Protection contre le SIDA (APCS)
  • In Lebanon: Soins Infirmiers et de Développement Communautaire (SIDC), Helem (a national LGBT organisation) and Oui pour La Vie (OPV)
  • In Morocco: Association Marocaine de Santé et de Développement (AMSED) and Organisation Pan Africaine de Lutte Contre le SIDA (OPALS)
  • In Tunisia: Association Tunisienne de Lutte contre les MST/SIDA (ATL)