AMSHeR @ The Key Populations Pre-Conference: ICASA 2017

African Men for Sexual and Health Rights (AMSHeR), African Sex Workers Alliance (ASWA), Gender Dynamix/ Southern Africa Trans Forum, the Coalition of African Lesbians (CAL) and other networks of key populations (KP) will host a two-day pre-conference prior to ICASA 2017, focusing on youth.

A spotlight on youth is aligned with the African Union’s designation of 2017 as a year focused on the youth, under the theme: “Harnessing the demographic dividend through an investment in youth”.  This investment is however threatened by HIV/AIDS. Young people (10 to 24 years) and adolescents (10 to 19 years), particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, continue to be disproportionately affected by HIV. The Pre-Conference will focus on a particular segment of the broad category “youth”, namely, youth key populations (YKPs), designating those who are most at risk of HIV infection.

These groups include young gay men and other young men who have sex with men (MSM), transgender (TG) youth, young sex workers (SW), young persons who inject drugs (PWID) and youth living with HIV (YLHIV) in Africa. The Pre-Conference will aim to facilitate an exchange of views, critical reflection and identification of priority health and human rights-related issues for youth falling in these different YKPs.

Up to 10,000 delegates, including the world’s leading scientists, policymakers, activists, People Living with HIV (PLWHIV) and government leaders, are expected to participate in the biggest AIDS conference in Africa.

Onto the Map: Youth Key Populations and HIV.


The YKP Pre-Conference aims to:

  • stimulate a broader conversation, located in the African context, about youth queer sexuality and identity, youth sex work and injecting drug use;
  • develop priority issues from the KP networks with reference to YKPs and their sexual reproductive health and rights;
  • explore avenues and spaces to introduce the conversation on YKPs and HIV;
  • identify appropriate interventions to better protect YKPs from HIV infection, taking into cognisance the cultural context of Africa;
  • provide a platform for the visibility of YKPs’ participation in and contribution to the HIV response,
  • facilitate and encourage mutually enriching learning exchanges between networks, communities and researchers, policymakers, donors, and other stakeholders.


  • To raise awareness and deepen understanding about the particular vulnerabilities to HIV infection of YKPs;
  • To take stock of and critically review the extent to and ways in which African governments have included YKPs in HIV prevention programmes;
  • Understand and reflect on opportunities for interventions to address the attitudes and knowledge of YKP on HIV vulnerabilities, prevention services and treatment services for them, and on ways in which to better manage this, taking into cognisance existing law and policy frameworks.

Follow this link to learn more about the KP Pre-Conference: AMSHeR KeyPOP pre Conference_Final 2017