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Research Highlights
Key Populations in the HIV epidemic


While HIV affects all types of people, research has found that certain groups are at higher risk for HIV infection. These groups, referred to as “key populations,” generally include sex workers, men who have sex with men, and people who use drugs. HIV interventions that address the specific needs of key populations are vital to prevention efforts countries with both generalized and concentrated HIV epidemics.

R2P is committed to promoting HIV prevention programs that acknowledge the unique context of these populations. Research projects in 12 countries are actively exploring the epidemiology of HIV among key populations as well as specific behavioral and structural factors that put these groups at heightened risk. We are also working with local organizations to disseminate research findings and use them to develop effective interventions.

A few examples of R2P’s projects with key populations include:

HIV among key populations in Swaziland

Two studies, completed in 2012, used respondent-driven sampling to assess HIV prevalence, risk factors, and human rights violations among female sex workers and men who have sex with men in Swaziland, a country with limited prior research on key populations. Though the HIV epidemic in Swaziland is generalized, R2P researchers found high HIV prevalence among key populations, with over with over 60% of FSW living with HIV. Read the Full Report.

Positive Health, Dignity and Prevention: Improving quality of life for HIV KP in Swaziland and the Dominican Republic

As more people learn their HIV status, HIV prevention activities are increasingly focusing on individuals who know they are infected. This approach to HIV—referred to as Positive Health, Dignity and Prevention —aims to prevent the spread of HIV while improving the quality of life for those already infected. In an effort to better understand how this framework can be applied to key populations in various settings, R2P researchers examined the prevention, care and treatment needs of key populations in Swaziland and the Dominican Republic—two countries with very different HIV epidemics. Research BriefFull Report

Friday, June 14, 2013
Expert Hour on HIV
in Key Populations

Read the Q&A Session on Storify

Distinguished Guests
Dr. Stefan Baral
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD

Delivette Castor, PhD
Technical Leadership and Research Division Office of HIV/AIDS, USAID 

Ugo Amanyeiwe, MD, MS
HIV/AIDS Community Care and Prevention Advisor Office of HIV/AIDS, USAID