English | Dzongkha Saturday, July 21, 2018

Pattern of HIV epidemic changing

May 25, 2012

The pattern of HIV epidemic in Bhutan is changing. Marginalised and vulnerable populations are increasingly bearing the brunt.  Recognising this shift and the challenges it poses, the National HIV/AIDS & STIs Control Programme and the UNDP conducted a National Stakeholders Meeting on Advocacy and HIV Prevention among Men having Sex with Men, MSM and Transgender People at Paro today.

The participants reviewed the existing international advocacy strategies and legal practices that impact vulnerable populations. This was done to advocate for appropriate rights-based strategies. It would encourage an environment that ensures universal access not only for MSM and transgender persons, but other key populations including intravenous drug users and female sex workers.

As of now, Bhutan has no specific disaggregation of reported HIV cases among MSM and transgender persons. However, there will soon be a mapping and key population size estimation exercise to develop target-based interventions.

The meeting is expected to foster an open and lively dialogue to garner better ideas and thoughts to adapt global best practices in Bhutan in strengthening the framework for HIV prevention, care and support services to MSM and transgender persons.

More than 25 stakeholders from government, the United Nations system, regional partners and civil society participated in the meeting.

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