In Mali, HC3 engaged with a broad range of partners to reduce HIV seroprevalence among key populations vulnerable to HIV – including commercial sex workers and men who have sex with men (MSM). HC3 built local partners’ capacity in delivering cutting-edge social and behavior change communication (SBCC) research, messaging, material design and communication evaluation.
Mali’s HIV epidemic appears to be stabilizing. As a result, the U.S. Government agencies in Mali (namely USAID and CDC) committed in the 2010-2015 HIV/AIDS strategic plan to increase the intensity and coverage of key populations’ interventions. The USAID/Mali Project to strengthen capacity of local organizations for the prevention and management of STI/HIV among key populations in Bamako, Sikasso, Mopti and Macina was awarded to HC3 from July 2015 to December 2016.
To achieve its objective of strengthening services and reducing the risk of HIV/STI for key populations, HC3 worked in partnership with Mali’s Ministry of Health and Public Hygiene through the “Cellule Sectorielle de Lutte contre le SIDA” (CSLS), the “Haut Conseil de Lutte contre le SIDA,” local partners such as SOUTOURA and ARCAD-SIDA, and other U.S. government bilateral programs such as Keneya Jemu Kan (KJK), Services de Santé à Grand Impact (SSGI) and Health Policy Plus (HP+).
- Conducted a rapid mapping assessment that aims to increase healthy behaviors among key populations and improve the effectiveness of HIV prevention programming in Mali.
- Disseminated results from the mapping activity to ensure that key partners working with key populations as well as key populations themselves will be informed on the results of the study
- Conducted a Key Populations Communication Strategy workshop that will lay out a solid and unifying foundation for a strategic approach which drives action the HC3 Mali program’s goals using multiple communication channels and engaging various partners at all level.
- Worked with KJK, key populations representatives and creative designers to develop materials for key populations based on the communication strategy and recommendations from the development workshop.
- Held joint USAID Partners Planning and Reviews to introduce the project’s objectives, to review progress and share plans for subsequent quarters.
- Created and launched Springboard for key populations to bring together all partners working with key populations as well as to provide SBCC practitioners in Mali a space to interact and exchange about their experience working with or implementing key populations programs.
HC3 Mali implemented several activities focusing on demand generation, referrals for HIV/FP/TB services, health materials distribution and service delivery through mobile outreach services. Specifically, the following activities were completed:
- Six mobile teams visited 265 sites (mostly mining and other hot spot areas) in Sikasso, Kayes and Bamako providing routine integrated testing, counseling and referrals for HIV/FP/TB for key populations in coordination with other organizations (Plan Mali, CDC, KJK, and Soutoura)
- Reached close to 1,400 key populations through the intervention
- Conducted HIV testing and counseling with female sex workers and men who have sex with men.
- Distributed 21,200 condoms and 8,856 lubricants during outreach activities
- Routine warehousing, management, distribution and quality assurance activities for a wide range of HIV/STI and other drugs provided by USAID to various partners
- Used PSI’s DHIS2 data management system for collecting data from key population site visits and service delivery
- Coordinated and organized routine HIV Thematic Group meetings for USAID partners working in HIV.