HIV And Young Men Who Have Sex with Men: A Technical Brief (Draft)

Inter-Agency Working Group On Key Populations
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This technical brief is one in a series addressing four young key populations. It is intended for policy-makers, donors, service-planners, service-providers and community-led organizations. This brief aims to catalyse and inform discussions about how best to provide services, programmes and support for young MSM. It offers a concise account of current knowledge concerning the HIV risk and vulnerability of young MSM; the barriers and constraints they face to appropriate services; examples of programmes that may work well in addressing their needs; and approaches and considerations for providing services that both draw upon and build to the strengths, competencies and capacities of young MSM.

The brief identifies considerations for policy, research and funding as follows:

Supportive laws and policies

  • Work for the decriminalisation of same-sex behaviour, sex work and drug use
  • Work toward developing non-custodial alternatives to the incarceration of young people who engage in same-sex activity, use drugs or sell sex
  • Prevent and address violence against young MSM
  • Examine current consent policies to consider removing age-related barriers and parent/guardian consent requirements that impede access to HIV and STI testing, treatment and care.
  • Address social norms and stigma around sexuality, gender identities and sexual orientation
  • Include relevant, rights-based HIV prevention and treatment programming specific to the needs of young MSM in national health plans and policy.

Strategic information and research, including:

  • Population size, demographics and epidemiology, with disaggregation of behavioural data and HIV, STI and viral hepatitis prevalence by age group and sex.
  • Research into health interventions and programmes young MSM and the effectiveness of their delivery, especially services offered by MSM-led organisations
  • Research into the impact of laws and policies upon access to health and other services for young people who sell sex
  • Involvement of young MSM, including those aged under 18 years, in research activities to ensure that they are appropriate, acceptable and relevant from the community’s perspective


  • Increase funding for research, implementation and scale-up of evidence-informed initiatives addressing young MSM.
  • Ensure that there is dedicated funding in national HIV plans for programmes with young MSM, and for programmes that address overlapping vulnerabilities.
  • Recognise overlapping vulnerabilities of key populations in funding and delivery of services.

You can download this 44 page document above. This resource is in English.