10 YEARS OF COMMITMENT TO KEY POPULATIONS
Over the past ten years, our experience in the field of sexual and reproductive health has taught us this: in order to efficiently engage the most vulnerable populations, integrating the issue of human rights—including the rights of sexual and gender minorities—is absolutely necessary.
What’s most important is to combat discriminations, especially those targeting sexual and gender minorities when it comes to accessing care or information about health.
As early as 2016, L’Initiative committed itself to tackling the issue by integrating it into all of its projects related to sexual and reproductive health, especially those targeting adolescents. In 2017, a training session was organized for the local leaders and partners of four projects targeting young girls and adolescents in Africa: the goal was to provide everyone with the technical bases in sexual and reproductive health, and to deconstruct representations and stereotypes associated with sexuality.
What lessons can we learn from our actions in the field? Which good practices should be adopted for better inclusion of sexual and gender minorities? As early as 2018, a first assessment was made, and, in late 2020, a quantitative and qualitative study of the projects funded since 2015 was launched to clearly identify what could be improved. This will help strengthen operational guidance for beneficiaries, by including this commitment in scoping documents.
With this study, L’Initiative will also fulfill its strategic mission to produce knowledge: the results will emphasize France’s position on sexual and reproductive health and rights, specially with the Generation Equality Forum in June 2021 coming.
34% of projects including 72% on the HIV component
10% of missions concern technical assistance,
including 77% on the HIV component
In Cameroon, LGBTI minorities are particularly affected by HIV. The taboos, prejudice, and violence they experience drive them away from health services. To counter this problem, Alternative Cameroun implements the “Proximité” project, funded by L’Initiative since 2018. This project’s goal is to teach the staff of ten LGBTI community organizations to deliver HIV and sexually transmitted infections proximity services: testing, implementation of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), proctology treatments, and others. Since its launch, no fewer than 1,500 proctology consultations were offered in complete safety. These improvements in medical capabilities are coupled with guidance to better understand gender and to make possible the creation of a security plan to protect LGBTI persons.