The World Health Organization (WHO) released the 2014 Consolidated Guidelines on HIV Prevention, Diagnosis, Treatment and Care for Key Populations. The new guidelines combine and harmonize all previous guidance and recommendations on HIV prevention, care, and treatment that apply to key populations, including men who have sex with men (MSM), people who inject drugs, sex workers, and transgender people. The guidelines come at a critical time in the HIV response, as HIV incidence in key populations continues to increase even as incidence stabilizes or declines in the general population.
The guidelines aim to: provide a comprehensive package of evidence-based HIV-related recommendations for all key populations; increase awareness of the needs of and issues important to key populations; improve access, coverage, and uptake of effective and acceptable services; and catalyze greater national and global commitment to adequate funding and services. The new guidelines describe numerous important interventions that, in combination with one another, represent a comprehensive continuum of services. Guidelines include:
- Explicit language around the correct and consistent use of condoms with condom-compatible lubricants;
- A new recommendation on offering pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for MSM as an additional HIV prevention option; and
- Considerations for offering PEP to key populations in need.
Moreover, the MSMGF applauds the emphasis on the importance of human rights and health equity. The guidelines stress:
- Access to HIV prevention, treatment, care, and support as fundamental to realizing the universal right to health;
- Enhanced community empowerment of key populations through the implementation of interventions, including interventions designed to prevent and address violence; and
- Review and revision of laws to promote the implementation and enforcement of antidiscrimination and to protect the rights of key populations.
The MSMGF commends the 2014 Consolidated Guidelines for considering elements common to all key populations as well as highlighting specific issues and risks unique to each group, including for the first time separate sections and recommendations for transgender people. The MSMGF staff was intensely involved in the development of these guidelines, serving on the guidelines development group and steering group, as well as conducting a study commissioned by the WHO on the values and preferences of MSM regarding use of antiretroviral therapy as prevention.
A PDF of the WHO’s new Consolidated Guidelines on HIV Prevention, Diagnosis, Treatment and Care for Key Populations is available on the WHO’s website.
A PDF of the MSMGF’s study, “Values & preferences of MSM: the Use of Antiretroviral Therapy as Prevention,” is available on the MSMGF’s website.