USAID Promotes an AIDS-Free Generation in West and Central Africa

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Sharon Kellman Yett
(+233) 30 274 1599

Lomé, TOGO – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in partnership with UNAIDS and the Global Fund, is supporting the second West and Central Africa Key Populations (KP) workshop on the theme “Enhancing KP Interventions: Taking Stock and Moving Forward”. This 3-day workshop is organized by the USAID Regional HIV/AIDS Prevention and Care Project PACTE-VIH and hosted by the Government of Togo (Ministry of Health).

In West and Central Africa, the prevalence of HIV among the general population remains low, with 12 of 24 countries reporting a national HIV prevalence of less than 2 percent.  However, the prevalence among key populations in the region is between 3 and 30 times higher than the general population.  Ending the HIV epidemic in West and Central Africa requires that programs and policies take an innovative and targeted approach that emphasizes access to services for those populations, and that best programmatic practices are shared, replicated and scaled.

“Establishing a strong coalition and appropriate strategies to confront programmatic challenges is necessary to advance the HIV response in West Africa and Central Africa,” said Peter H. Barlerin, the U.S. Chargé d’Affaires in Togo. “We need to collaborate and promote cooperation on issues requiring collective actions to advance the fight against HIV in West and Central Africa. This workshop is therefore in response to key recommendations from the May 2014 regional KP meeting that called for the establishment of annual technical forums on KP in the region to share experiences and learn from others.”

The workshop, funded through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) takes place October 27-29, 2015, in Lomé, Togo. More than 100 participants, including representatives from government and civil society groups from countries in the West and Central Africa region, regional institutions such as the West Africa Health Organization, donors, development partners and Key population groups will review the status of HIV activities targeting KPs, highlight promising practices to facilitate their scale-up in the region, and promote networking and collaboration among actors. In addition, they will learn about new prevention technologies being implemented in other regions.

Immediately following the workshop, the National HIV/AIDS Commission will hold a day-long working session to further the development of Togo’s 2016-2020 National HIV Strategic Plan. This working session, supported by USAID, will focus on the implementation in Togo of the HIV Sustainability Index Dashboard (SID), a tool developed by the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) for assessing the sustainability of HIV programs and determining the best allocation of resources.  The results of the SID will be used by the Government of Togo to inform their HIV Strategic Plan and improve their HIV response. Representatives of UNAIDS, the Global Fund and the World Bank will participate in this session, in addition to members of Togo’s donor community, civil society organizations and private sector.