NASW, alongside over 140 organizations, networks and civil society organizations from 50 countries, signed a letter to the United States Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator (OCAG), to release the PEPFAR Field Guidance on Men who have Sex with Men (MSM). OGAC is responsible for implementing the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (or PEPFAR). The letter, addressed to Ambassador Eric Goosby, noted that research from around the world shows that gay men, bisexual men, and MSM face an elevated risk of HIV infection over the general population, yet they are all too often sidelined in the global response. The letter highlighted the following key issues: 1) for Ambassador Goosby to demonstrate personal leadership to ensure uptake of the MSM guidance and actively support efforts to reprogram current funding to prioritize MSM, 2) to make available a specific funding stream dedicated to funding HIV programming and research targeting MSM, and 3) to report on related indicators in order to effectively measure programming and progress for MSM and other sexual minorities.
NASW’s policy statement on HIV/AIDS (NASW Social Work Speaks, 2009) stresses the importance of advocacy and leadership at all levels of government alongside the critical need for funding for prevention, care and treatment, and research for all at-risk and marginalized communities affected by HIV/AIDS in the United States and globally.