The population of MSM is estimated at 30,000 (less than 0.01% of the Kenyan population), contributing to 15.2% of all new HIV infections (NASCOP 2008). MSM HIV prevalence is estimated at 18.2%, almost four times higher than the prevalence of men in the general populations (Population Council, 2010). In a Polling Booth Survey conducted in 2011, 68% of MSM used condoms the last time they had sex and 17% reported STI symptoms. NASCOP programme data 2013 shows that only 55% of MSM were enrolled in comprehensive HIV interventions. MSM are therefore considered a major driver of HIV epidemic in Kenya.
LVCT Health, has been dedicated to preventing HIV, AIDS deaths, stigma and discrimination since 1998. We pioneered HIV services for MSM and are the largest provider of HIV testing in Kenya (17% of national achievements in 2012). We use research results, capacity improvement, policy reform action to promote universal access to equitable HIV testing, counselling, prevention, care and treatment (40,000 clients on care) and sexual reproductive health services to the most vulnerable populations.
We have offered HIV/SRH services to over 10,000 MSM since 2004. Through our research-policy-practice model, we have demonstrated impact on HIV and SRH practice and policy in Kenya and beyond. The footprints of LVCT Health are evident in what is now termed variously as a “willing”, “friendly”, “progressive” policy environment with regards to key populations. We were instrumental in the formation and development of key population’s organizations including Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya (GALCK), ISHTAR, Ukweli, NYARWEK and HOYMAS.
We have developed strong partnerships with MSM organizations and groups. Besides technical expertise, the relationships and partnerships with beneficiary organisations are crucial to the success of interventions and programmes for key populations. Our investments in sensitisation, training and capacity building of service providers and working in partnership with the beneficiary community sees LVCT Health having one of the largest cohorts of MSM on care. We work within the national framework and closely with NASCOP and NACC thereby enabling the translation of practice evidence into policy reforms and national programmes. We have a broad reach with presence in 23 out of 47 counties and 5 regional offices.