IOM Leads Round Table Discussions at the Second African Conference on Key Populations in the HIV Epidemic

Date Published: 
Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The International Organization for Migration participated in the Second African Conference on Key Populations in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on 17 December 2015. A round table session, co-chaired by Dr. Michela Martini, IOM’s Regional Migration Health Specialist for East and Southern Africa and UNAIDS, was entitled "Migrants, a key population left behind in the HIV response:  turn theory into action in East and Southern Africa”. The round table aimed to provide a platform for governments, development partners, international organizations and civil society to discuss how to enhance migration within HIV programming and how research can guide informed and evidence-based policy and programming.

During the opening remarks of the round table session Dr. Martini said, “Migration within the context of HIV strategies and programming is yet to be properly addressed. There is need to develop standardised tools to capture migration within the HIV and health sector as well as to integrate migration as a component within the existing tools on HIV prevalence and vulnerability indexes." IOM is ready to strengthen and collaborate in the existing partnerships with the Regional Economic Communities such as the East African Community and the Southern Africa Development Corporation (SADC) in order to reach the 90/90/90 goal in the HIV response.

The 2014 UNAIDS Gap Report identifies migrants and displaced persons among the 12 populations that have been left behind by the AIDS response. Despite positive changes and the increasing recognition of migrants’ vulnerability to HIV, current national HIV programmes are yet to capture systematically the mobility perspective.  Not all migrants are equally vulnerable and more attention should be dedicated to link mobility patterns to sexual networking, location-specific HIV epidemiology and type of migration.

For more information please contact:

Michela Martini by email at mmartini@iom.int or by phone at +254701644397