Focus on key populations in national HIV strategic plans in the WHO African Region
National strategic plans (NSPs) play a vital role in fostering the understanding of and guiding the collective response to HIV epidemics. WHO commissioned a review of the most recent national strategic plans of 47 countries in the WHO African Region for their coverage of key populations. This review sought to identify strengths, gaps and weaknesses in the way that that these plans consider key populations.
In particular, we assessed:
- how key populations and their HIV risk are represented in NSPs;
- whether the plans include epidemiologic information on the HIV epidemic among key populations;
- whether these plans include the WHO-recommended package of interventions for key populations; and
- the extent of involvement envisioned for key population communities in HIV interventions addressing these populations.
While NSPs are a rich source of information on how key populations are understood and integrated into national planning processes, they do not necessarily reflect funded and implemented programming: some intervention strategies described in an NSP may not be implemented during the implementation period. At the same time, some responsive and innovative interventions conducted by local key population-led organizations, while relevant to the national HIV response, may not be captured in the NSP. The methods and limitations sections of this report discuss the limitations of NSPs and of the methods employed to conduct this review.
Based on the findings, we recommend improvements regarding the inclusion of key populations in the NSPs.