Improving access to HIV care in sub-Saharan Africa
Great progress has been made in the global fight against HIV. Yet, HIV continues to spread around the world and remains a significant burden of disease in sub-Saharan Africa. Additionally, key populations – including men who have sex with men (MSM) – remain disproportionately affected by HIV. Globally, the risk of acquiring HIV is 26 times higher among MSM than for the general population.1 In South Africa, HIV prevalence among MSM is 18.1% compared to an overall HIV prevalence of 12.9% for men aged 15-49.2
New and innovative approaches are needed to reach key populations living with or at risk of HIV and are an important priority for the global HIV community.
Enhancing HIV Care and Treatment for MSM in South Africa
The Merck Foundation is supporting two philanthropic programs to improve access to high-quality HIV care and treatment for MSM in South Africa. The Foundation committed ~$4.7 million over four years (2021-2024) to support mothers2mothers (m2m) and Population Services International (PSI). Our funding will help m2m and PSI expand access to HIV prevention, care and treatment for MSM by providing peer mentoring, psychosocial and mental health support, and tailored HIV services to meet the specific needs of this key population. Their programs will also focus on improving the initiation and continuity of care and treatment for MSM by addressing key social determinants of health.
1 UNAIDS. 2020. Global HIV & AIDS statistics. https://www.unaids.org/en/resources/fact-sheet
2 UNAIDS. 2019. South Africa country fact sheet. https://www.unaids.org/en/regionscountries/countries/southafrica