We hear it everywhere: shift the power. But in reality, communities still have limited access to resources and are only being brought to the table when invited. How do we truly walk the talk? How can communities drive policies and programming? A true power shift to communities is crucial to end AIDS by 2030 and to protect everyone’s rights along the way!

2 %

of funding for HIV programmes targets key populations


new infections every week among women aged 15-24 globally

57 %

of children aged 0-14 years has access to HIV treatment

Why community-led approaches matter

We know from more than four decades of experience that a community-led approach is the only way to end AIDS. Communities themselves hold governments accountable, remove barriers to HIV prevention and treatment, fight injustice and inequalities, and ensure that groups in a vulnerable position are included in the HIV response. That is why we invest in community-led responses. Communities play a central part when we make investments and lead the decision-making process when deciding on the best type of approach. They know best what is needed and what works.

A person lovingly holding a child in her arms.



A high number of children living with HIV and pregnant women are still unaware of their HIV status or not able to start and continue treatment. Without treatment, 50% of children born with HIV will die before age two.

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LGBTIQ+ people

LGBTIQ+ people

LGBTIQ+ people are 13 times more likely to acquire HIV than other adults. They often face high levels of stigma, discrimination and violence, which directly limits their access to (life-saving) health care.

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People living with HIV

People living with HIV

Key populations living with HIV face stigma due to fear and ignorance surrounding HIV transmission; and stigma due to negative societal attitudes and perceptions that exist towards same-sex relations, sex work and drug use. In most countries the HIV response is not sensitive to the needs of key populations living with HIV. Standard HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services often do not include relevant information for key populations living with HIV to live healthy and dignified lives. Health care providers are uninformed or there are legal and policy barriers that make it impossible to discuss sex work, drug use and same-sex relations in a health care setting.

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People who use drugs

People who use drugs

People who use drugs often face severe stigma and discrimination and lack access to much-needed health services. Even when these services are available, many drug users are afraid to make use of them because of fear of imprisonment and human rights abuses. As a result, sharing/using unsterile injecting equipment is the primary route of HIV transmission in many regions in the world.

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Sex workers

Sex workers

Globally, sex workers are 13.5 times more likely to be living with HIV than others. Sex work is criminalised in over 110 countries contributing to high levels of violence, stigma, discrimination and other human rights violations. This often results in inconsistent condom use and prevents sex workers from accessing necessary legal support and health care. For example, only 22.5% of female sex workers in Africa have access to HIV prevention programmes. These barriers make sex workers considerably more vulnerable to HIV and AIDS, as well as other sexually transmitted infections and different forms of violence.

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Adolescent girls and young women

Adolescent girls and young women

Women are disproportionally affected by HIV. In 2022, girls and women made up more than half of the 37.7 million people living with HIV –namely 20.2 million. As a result, AIDS remains the number one death cause for young women worldwide. A main driver for increased levels of contracting HIV is poverty. In many places (young) women lack sustainable livelihoods and income, lack opportunities to education, and face gender inequality.

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A portrait of Tinashe and Kumbirai at the GALZ.

Young people

Young people

Young people often lack access to sexual information and services. Policies are often not well aligned to the reality of young people. Young people are not always aware of their rights. This hinders their access to sex education and there is a lack of youth-friendly health services. Therefore, young people are often unable to make informed choices concerning their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), with all the consequences that that entails.

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What we mean by communities

By communities we mean organisations, members of a community, target groups or individuals. The focus is on people living with HIV and groups at higher risk of HIV and STIs due to discrimination and exclusion

Community leadership for an effective HIV response

Partner with us!

Aidsfonds is interested in working together to further strengthen community leadership, increase HIV prevention choices, and improve treatment outcomes and quality of life of people living with or exposed to HIV. We want to talk to anyone who shares our dream and wants to join us on a journey toward a world free of AIDS.

Get in touch!

Get involved
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