Who We Work With

We align ourselves with the interests of groups, organisations and movements of people whose human rights (in particular, the right to health) are unjustly limited or denied. We have a strong focus on work with LGBT+ people, sex workers and people living with HIV (PLHIV), and adolescent girls & young women.


Sex workers

People living with HIV

Girls & Women

Challenges facing those we work with

Gender inequity; stigma and discrimination; sexual and physical violence; lack of participation; economic marginalisation; general marginalisation of LGBT+ people, sex workers and others (e.g. PWUD; adolescent girls and young women); and young or nascent LGBT+ and sex worker movements in most of the countries in which we work.

What drives these challenges?

Strong patriarchal power relations that perpetuate inequality, suppress voice and inhibit choice; the social and economic legacies of colonialism and associated legal and religious acculturations; traditionally cultural constructions and discourses; rhetoric by key political leaders and figures which reinforces widely held homophobic, transphobic, patriarchal and parochial views; few effective or genuine attempts by governments, regional institutions or Africa-wide bodies to reform discriminatory legislation or conform with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights or other protocols for inclusive human rights practice and HIV service provision; often unsympathetic and discriminatory views put forward by traditional and religious leaders, and media practitioners.

Hostile national contexts

Many of the PV’s programmes continue to operate in hostile national contexts. This was particularly marked in East Africa, and Tanzania in particular, where a crackdown on HIV and human rights programming perceived to be promoting homosexuality, which included arrests if human rights activists and raids on organsations by police, impacted partners’ work and individuals’ safety, causing a pause in implementation while safety and security was reassessed and mitigation strategies put in place. However, the year also saw greater inclusion and representation of KPs in national frameworks and systems such as National Strategic Plans, Country Coordinating Mechanisms and Technical Working Groups. Thus there is a push and pull in many countries, requiring careful navigation of the complexity by those working in country. Despite overt hostility in some places, there are pocket of acceptance and champions emerging in the movement for KP rights.