Africa and the Middle East

GAMBIA -- National HIV/AIDS Draft Policy Document 2014 Validated


MALAWI -- Southern Africa AIDS Trust (SAT) Urges Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to Prepare for the Revised Global Funding Model


NIGERIA -- Expert Says Nigeria Needs Political Will to Tackle HIV/AIDS


UGANDA -- MPs, Women Activists Want Special Fund on HIV/AIDS 

Asia and the Pacific
Europe and Eurasia
Latin America and the Caribbean
North America

UNITED STATES -- Exiled from Home, Nigeria's Gay Community Builds New Life in US 


International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC), HIV Advocates, and AbbVie Issue Consensus Statement Calling for Improved Care for Women Living with HIV  

FocusAdvocate Focus


Ivan Cruickshank

Policy and Advocacy Coordinator,

Caribbean Vulnerable Communities (CVC)


"We are often trying to implement programs and activities without a full appreciation of what will give us the desired result. Understanding and appreciating the role that a policy plays in creating an enabling environment will give us the required foundation to help the people we are trying to help."


Ivan Cruickshank is the policy and advocacy coordinator for the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities (CVC) coalition, based in Kingston, Jamaica. He has worked on HIV-related issues since 1991, and taught public policy at the University of the West Indies before joining CVC in 2009. The HIV Policy and Advocacy Monitor recently spoke with Cruickshank about the HIV policy environment in the Caribbean region and CVC's work and achievements.
PolicyPolicy Analysis

Demand for and Uses of Geospatial Mapping in HIV Programs: Documenting the Experiences of End-users in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa

Health Policy Project  


Geospatial analysis of epidemiological and health service data can generate maps of hotspots---locations where HIV prevalence is concentrated---and existing medical and social services and infrastructure. Using this method of data visualization, program planners can easily determine where HIV resources and services are lacking and where they should be deployed to have the greatest impact. 

Sustaining the Global HIV Response: Innovative Financing Options



In the past decade, roughly US$20 billion has been spent on HIV prevention and treatment worldwide. With bilateral aid programs accounting for nearly two-thirds of international HIV assistance and 32% of all HIV spending, researchers are exploring how new financing arrangements could be used to invest in high-impact treatments, accelerating the decline in AIDS-related deaths and reducing the long-term financial burden of the AIDS response.

Harm Reduction Works: Examples From Around the World

UNAIDS unaidspublication/2014/JC2613_HarmReduction_en.pdf  


Evidence shows that investing public funds in harm reduction programs helps reduce HIV transmission among people who inject drugs (PWID). Although legal, policy, and environmental challenges exist in many countries, recent successes in Kazakhstan, Malaysia, and Tanzania demonstrate that harm reduction programs can have a significant impact on the HIV response and in promoting the human rights and needs of PWID.

The Economic Costs and Development Impact of Exclusion of LGBT People

World Bank featurestories/2014/march/20140314homophobia/  


A World Bank panel addressed a recent study which found that stigma and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals costs India's economy billions of dollars annually. Panelists emphasized the need for the international community to mobilize resources to protect marginalized groups around the world and for additional data on the links between exclusion and development.     

ResourcesNew Resources: Models, Tools, and Research

Advocacy Capacity Tool

Bolder Advocacy  


This new tool helps nonprofit organizations measure their capacity and preparedness to engage in advocacy. The Advocacy Capacity Tool (ACT) is a questionnaire for nonprofit staff that provides an immediate assessment for organizations about their readiness to launch effective advocacy campaigns. The ACT is available online from Bolder Advocacy.

Monitoring and Evaluating Advocacy



The final installment in a four-part series of advocacy guidance notes addresses monitoring and evaluation (M&E) for advocacy activities. Bond provides a framework for tracking advocacy activities and tips for defining objectives and indicators. M&E are critical components of any successful advocacy intervention, and this resource provides a comprehensive guide to creating an effective M&E strategy.


Global Fund Approves First Regional Grant for EECA (Eastern Europe and Central Asia)

Eurasian Harm Reduction Network  


The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund) announced that the Eurasian Harm Reduction Network (EHRN) will be the principal recipient for the first regional HIV/AIDS grant in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. EHRN's approach to harm reduction utilizes sub-grants to leading NGOs and promotes regional coordination to strengthen advocacy to empower national actions.  

Until No Child Has AIDS

Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation 


This video describes how HIV treatment coverage for children continues to lag woefully behind adults. Every day more than 500 children die from AIDS because they lack adequate treatment. Coverage for children must be made a global priority to ensure that they are no longer left behind in the response to HIV. 

"Justice for All" in the Caribbean to Combat HIV/AIDS



Edward Greene, the United Nations Secretary-General's Special Envoy for AIDS in the Caribbean, recently spoke about the successes and continuing challenges of eliminating mother-to-child transmission (EMTCT) of HIV in the region. He highlighted the Justice for All program which supports marginalized groups in the fight against HIV/AIDS and contributes significantly to the Caribbean's goal being the first region in the world to completely eliminate MTCT.

We Are Jamaicans

Caribbean Vulnerable Communities 


This series of videos is supported by Caribbean Vulnerable Communities (CVC) through its Global Fund Vulnerablised Project. We Are Jamaicans gives members of vulnerable communities and their allies a platform to tell their stories and talk about how discrimination affects their lives.

Advocate Interview

CVC is a coalition of community leaders and organizations in Jamaica that provide services to and advocate for populations that are especially vulnerable to HIV or may face barriers to accessing health and social services. CVC works to promote leadership among stakeholders and raise the general population's awareness about HIV prevention.


HIV Policy and Advocacy Monitor: What led you to work in policy and advocacy?


Ivan Cruickshank: I started out as an activist in 1991, with the launch of Jamaica AIDS Support for Life, the oldest and largest human rights organization dedicated to the response to HIV/AIDS in Kingston, Jamaica. At first we weren't focused fully on advocacy, but just trying to address the epidemic by sharing information, rallying resources for people who were dying, and creating a space for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community to interact and take action regarding HIV. This evolved into active advocacy as we saw unmet needs and generally poor responses to the issues of the LGBT community, especially among health service providers.


HIV Policy and Advocacy Monitor: Why are policy and advocacy important for meeting the needs of vulnerable communities in the Caribbean? What role does policy and advocacy plan in meeting the needs of vulnerable communities in the Caribbean?


Ivan Cruickshank: Most of the work that we do involves appreciation and understanding of the policy context and policy actors. We are often trying to implement programs and activities without a full appreciation of what will give us the desired result. Understanding and appreciating the role that a policy plays in creating an enabling environment will give us the required foundation to help the people we are trying to help. It is critical to ensure that the key populations we are trying to represent have a voice in the policy process, policy development, and policy implementation.


HIV Policy and Advocacy Monitor: What policies has CVC been working to address lately? Can you discuss some of CVC's current policy work?


Ivan Cruickshank: We've been analyzing and addressing gender policies, sex work and reproductive health policies, policies that affect key population groups, workplace policies, and partnership and collaboration around the Occupational Health and Safety Act. This policy is now at the stage where it is being made into legislation. CVC and its member organizations have been working with employers to build their understanding of key population groups and HIV.


HIV Policy and Advocacy Monitor: What is a recent policy or advocacy success CVC has achieved?


Ivan Cruickshank: We had a change in leadership in the Ministry of Health (MOH) of Jamaica, and there were concerns regarding the issue of stockouts of antiretroviral drugs (ARVs.) In 2012, a consortium of Global Fund Country Coordinating Mechanism representatives, led by CVC, recognized that access to ARVs is likely to be a further challenge, given the impending withdrawal of Global Fund funding from Jamaica. We organized meetings between MOH representatives and key civil society partners, wrote letters to the minister, and even held a demonstration in front of the MOH to highlight the concerns of civil society about stockouts that could arise if funds were not identified to support ARV provision. The minister was receptive and engaged the National AIDS Program (NAP) in discussions to develop a policy that calls for a minimum amount of ARVs to be available at a given time. These efforts led to Cabinet approval of government funding for ARVs as part of its recurrent budget. The NAP is now in the process of developing a system to monitor ARV supplies to minimize the incidence of stockouts.


HIV Policy and Advocacy Monitor: What issues do you think need greater attention in the response to HIV?


Ivan Cruickshank: Issues around women need a lot more attention in the Caribbean region, specifically policies related to domestic violence and abuse. Additionally, there is a need to focus on policies that address sexual violence---not just against women, but sexual violence against men as well. These issues need more attention across the region, yet there are cultural issues that prevent us from addressing this issue. The laws in Jamaica, and to a great extent the wider Caribbean, define rape and sexual violence from a heterosexist perspective, hence it is not possible that males can be raped---a charge which carries a more extensive sentence than buggery, which is often the way male sexual exploitation is categorized.


HIV Policy and Advocacy Monitor: What is the role of civil society in ensuring the sustainability of HIV and AIDS programs for key populations in the Caribbean?


Ivan Cruickshank: Civil society organizations (CSOs) have three fundamental roles in ensuring the sustainability of the HIV response in the region, specifically as it relates to key populations. First, CSOs must continue to engage in developing policy awareness to effectively monitor how well their government is performing relative to its commitments, whether nationally or internationally. Second, CSOs can lead initiatives that might be difficult for the government to implement, such as engaging with traditional social actors, including the church and community groups, to reduce stigma and discrimination. Third, civil society will need to reframe how resources are utilized to ensure that the best value is given and received for the limited resources available.


More information on the work of CVC can be found at: 


The USAID- and PEPFAR-funded Health Policy Project's HIV Policy and Advocacy Monitor is a monthly newsletter focusing on the advancement, development, and analysis of policies, advocacy campaigns and organizations, and policy-related data to inform the response to HIV and AIDS at the global, national, and local levels. It includes news items, resources, advocacy reports, and innovative policy analyses on a wide range of topics such as treatment, key populations issues, gender, and financing for HIV policies and programs.


If you would like to suggest an item for inclusion in the next issue, please send it to:


About the Health Policy Project   
The Health Policy Project is a five-year cooperative agreement funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under Cooperative Agreement No. AID-OAA-A-10-00067, beginning September 30, 2010. The project's HIV-related activities are supported by the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). It is implemented by Futures Group, in collaboration with CEDPA (part of Plan International USA), Futures Institute, Partners in Population and Development Africa Regional Office (PPD ARO), Population Reference Bureau (PRB), RTI International, and the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood (WRA).