Supporting the involvement of key populations

Key populations are often marginalized and face social stigma or criminalization that fuel their vulnerability to HIV and make access to care more difficult. The 5% Initiative works to promote their inclusion in determining and implementing Global Fund programs. We also support networks representing key populations and vulnerable groups.

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The term "key populations" specifically refers to population groups with prevalence rates higher than those among the general population, and who have a critical role to play in the public health response:

  • Men who have sex with men (MSM)
  • Transgender people,
  • People who inject drugs (PWID)
  • Sex workers and their clients,
  • People who are detained, or in prison,
  • People with disabilities
  • HIV negative partners in serodiscordant (mixed status) couples,
  • Migrant workers or any mobile populations.


There is a real gap between the burden of HIV among key populations and expenditure related to these groups because of their low representation and marginalization. The epidemic disproportionately impacts key populations, with HIV prevalence rates 12 to 22 times higher than in the general population. The prevalence rates are for example

  • 22 times higher among users of inhaled, synthetic or injectable drug
  • 12 times higher among sex workers
  • 19 times higher among men who have sex with men

Although the Global Fund made mandatory the representation of key populations on CCMs, the share of funding allocated to these populations remains insignificant.


We work to empower key populations by involving community experts and leaders within their ranks. We provide them with technical assistance and support at all stages of the grant application, and in line with their needs. The following are key recommendations going forward:

  • Improving key populations’ knowledge of the funding process, and have them involved in the funding process assessment.
  • Providing technical support throughout the country dialogue process and implementation of interventions.
  • Strengthening key populations’ capacity to develop concept notes, to implement and monitor grants.
  • Ensuring that key populations have good quality epidemiological data when they are beneficiaries, in order to ensure consistency between the funding requested and the HIV/AIDS epidemiological impact they experience.
  • Providing feedback through support to CCM proceedings.