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Key Populations

Female sex workers, men who have sex with men, and injecting drug users have the highest risk of contracting and transmitting HIV. Yet they also have the least access to prevention, care, and treatment because their behaviors are often stigmatized and even criminalized.  This track focuses on using the scientific tools of public health to address the health and rights of populations in need. 

Examples of science to be supported, but not limited to:

  • Applied research and program evaluation to identify interventions that successfully increase access to, and the quality of HIV prevention services such as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).
  • Using data from key populations in the design of HIV prevention and treatment programs to make them more effective.
  • Research on the implementation and effectiveness of stigma-reduction interventions around HIV status, sexual orientation, and other intersectional identities, particularly healthcare setting stigma reduction interventions.

Examples of science to be supported, but not limited to:

  • Build local culturally competent capacity, both in applied research and in the utilization of data on key populations for improving programs and influencing policies.

Steering Committee

US Lead

Sylvia Adebajo, MD, PhD
Senior Scientist at IHVN and Director for Maryland Global Initiative Nigeria

Dr. Adebajo pioneered the first bio-epidemiological study using respondent sampling technique in Nigeria. Her research focuses on interventions in HIV prevention and treatment using participatory-based approaches with female sex workers, men who have sex with men, and people who inject drugs.


Henna Budhwani, PhD, MPH
Associate Professor of Public Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB); Director of Caribbean Programs, UAB Sparkman Center for Global Health

Dr. Budhwani is a social and implementation scientist who conducts studies to address the causes and consequences of health disparities among stigmatized populations. Her research agenda is informed by sociological constructs, guided by human rights frameworks, and adopts a multi-dimensional view of public health and clinical care inequities. Dr. Budhwani has worked with the following key populations in Latin American and the Caribbean: gay, bi, and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM, MSM) also referred to as sexual minority men (SMM), transgender women, cisgender and transgender sex workers, migrant workers, adolescents, and emerging adults.



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