Women, girls, and gender minorities at the intersection of HIV and Gender-Based Violence (GBV) face an overwhelming increase in risk of contracting HIV. This is well documented and has the potential to adversely affect the course of the HIV epidemic and the gains that have been achieved.
APC’s GBV project in Guyana multiplies the effects of PEPFAR investments by integrating GBV prevention and response into existing HIV prevention, care, and treatment programs in community-based organizations and health services. This includes supporting and developing national guidelines, strengthening coordination across sectors, and building the capacity of and linkages between clinics and community-based services in GBV prevention.
The project, begun in May 2015 with assistance from the International Centre for Research on Women, is anchored in the socio-ecological model of change. This expands the project’s interventions to engage individual behaviors, institutional practices, social norms, and the broader societal context in which GBV occurs. The primary objectives of the program are to—
- Identify violence faced by People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV) and key populations at higher risk for HIV
- Facilitate access to appropriate GBV supportive services for PLHIV and key populations at higher risk for HIV.
- Improve community organization and health service collaboration to improve access to legal, social, and protection support.
APC helps build the capacity of community-based organizations to conduct GBV screenings and referrals for key populations and PLHIV who access services. This is achieved through orientation of partner organization staff on how to administer the GBV suite of services, changes or modification to legal guidance for GBV, and revisions to best practices.
Important Lesson Learned
- The GBV achievements demonstrate that individuals can be reached with GBV prevention and response interventions through existing HIV platforms.
- It is important to address GBV prevention and response simultaneously.
- A multi-sectoral approach is recommended; no single entity has the resources and platform to address GBV.
- Providers must network and build strong linkages with interagency stakeholders from legal, protection, health, and community-based organizations.