Key populations (KPs) account for approximately 32% of all new HIV infections in Nigeria and incidence has continued to rise. HJFMRI, in support of the U.S. Military HIV Research program (MHRP), PEPFAR, and Nigerian partners, have worked to make inroads to engage KPs specifically in Lagos and Rivers States. In coordination with the local partners, the program engages members of KP and their partners with a comprehensive package of clinical and community-based prevention, care, and treatment services. Outreach to KP has led to targeted programmatic interventions in the broader PEPFAR program.
The National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) in Nigeria launched new consolidated service delivery guidelines on HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) for key populations in Nigeria. MHRP and HJFMRI Ltd. Gte Nigeria were selected by The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria (GFATM) through a sub-recipient contract under the NACA to develop these official guidelines for Nigeria in response to the HIV and STI epidemic.
“It is a very exciting opportunity and a great honor for the program to be collaborate with different stakeholders at the national and state levels in developing these guidelines such a recognizable manner," said Dooshima Uganden-Okonkwo, Prevention Program Manager of HJFMRI Ltd. Gte in Nigeria who provided technical direction on this initiative. “Our team has been very successful in reaching KPs through our PEPFAR-supported program, and now we can apply our expertise to benefit even more people through collaboration, partnerships and strong community engagement."
The national guidelines that previously existed were primarily focused on prevention for specific key population typologies and prevention, care and treatment for general populations. To ensure these consolidated guidelines are both comprehensive and effective, the team conducted focus group discussions, key informant interviews, human centered design exercises, and guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO).
The new guidelines aim to strengthen prevention, care and treatment programs to address stigma, violence, and mental health amongst the key population community and the children of KPs. The new guidelines define the critical enablers, implementation, monitoring and evaluation for packages of services including HIV, STI’s and other related health services for all the key populations typologies namely men who have sex with men, sex workers, persons who inject drugs, transgender persons, persons in custodial centers and closed settings.