Advocacy and Other Community Tactics to Challenge Barriers to HIV Care for Gay and Bisexual Men and Transgender Women (Project ACT)

Robin Lin Miller, College of Social Science
MPact Global Action for Gay Men’s Health and Rights

In 2016, Dr. Robin Lin Miller began partnering with MPact Global Action for Gay Men’s Health and Rights (MPact), a transnational civil-society organization (CSO), to dismantle barriers to HIV care for gay and bisexual men and transgender women. Global estimates have suggested infection of these populations is increasing despite efforts to end the HIV epidemic and the stigma that fuels it.

Project ACT, led by MPact, included LGBT-led CSOs in Burundi, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, the Dominican Republic, Ghana, Jamaica, and Zimbabwe. Miller was part of the project’s leadership team and supported the development and implementation of strategies to address barriers to accessing HIV care. Miller provided the team with ongoing empirical support in culturally responsive approaches to help guide the partnership and document both challenges and successes.

The partnership led to systems for monitoring stigma and discrimination in the provision of HIV healthcare, routine healthcare worker sensitization efforts, and healthcare-community partnerships to improve access to HIV services. Notable achievements of the partnership include Jamaica’s first submission on the state of transgender access to healthcare to the United Nations Human Rights Council Universal Period Review, the establishment of national sensitivity training standards in the Dominican Republic, and expanded access to affirming HIV care in Ghana, Cameroon, and Zimbabwe.