Affirming the leading role of key population communities in the HIV response

Affirming the leading role of key population communities in the HIV response

Bridging the Gaps has been a ten-year long demonstration of what we already knew, but what now has also become more visible to the rest of the HIV sector: we will only end AIDS by focusing the response on those most affected, and we will only succeed if those communities – sex workers, people who use drugs, LGBT people, people living with HIV – are engaged at every level and play a leading role in the response. We, at Aidsfonds, are immensely proud that the Bridging the Gaps programme has shown to effectively respond to the priorities and needs of key populations globally, and that the programme generated a wealth of evidence of the effectiveness of community-led approaches. Read on this page some of our impact in the Bridging the Gaps Alliance. 

Bridging the Gaps, an alliance of 9 international organisations and networks, collaborated with over 80 partner organisations led by and working for sex workers, people who use drugs and LGBT people to strengthen civil society, advocate for their human rights and improve the provision of HIV services. Learn more about the Alliance's results and key learnings 

One of the greatest gains is the wide acknowledgement that we can only end the AIDS epidemic when efforts and funding concentrate on the groups most affected: sex workers, people who use drugs, and LGBT people.


Learning and strategising together

Among the most inspiring events during the programme period were decidedly the annual Learning Institutes. There, key population activists and advocates from around the world learned from each other and strategised for an effective, community-led HIV response. Participantswere sex workers, people who use drugs, LGBT people, people living with HIV and allies including service providers and human rights activists from different countries. Those working locally and those acting in the international arena, took part. The Learning Institutes have served as essential spaces of connection, recognition and empowerment, where expertise was shared and new knowledge generated.

Speaking with one voice

The journey that Bridging the Gaps has been has shown that building alliances and collaborating across communities and movements takes time and effort, yet is worth the investment. When we speak with one voice on the country level, our voice is louder and will be heard. Joint messaging on behalf of communities who are most affected by HIV and who face similar barriers makes for powerful advocacy. On the international level, HIV2020 has shown what communities can accomplish when they come together. It affirmed the leading role of key populations in the global HIV response.

It’s not only the meaning of words, but also understanding the cultures, the environments, and the social norms that communities are facing. Speak the language that the communities can understand in terms of the interpretation.

Doan Thanh Tung, Director Lighthouse, at the HIV2020 Conference in Vietnam

10 years of Bridging the Gaps Alliance coming to a close

After nearly ten years, our unique Bridging the Gaps alliance is coming to a close. Countless organisations, networks and people have relentlessly been working towards a world where sex workers, people who use drugs, LGBT people and people living with HIV can enjoy their human rights and access quality HIV prevention, treatment, care and support. uses cookies to offer the best website experience possible and to anonymously analyze website behaviour. More information.