APLA currently houses the Secretariat of the Global Forum on Men Who Have Sex with Men and HIV (MSMGF), providing the MSMGF with administrative and fiscal support. The Global Forum on MSM and HIV (MSMGF) is an expanding network of advocates and other experts in health, human rights, research, and policy, working to ensure an effective response to HIV among gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM). The MSMGF is based in Oakland, California. Learn more at MSMGF.org.


The MSMGF envisions a world where the health and human rights of all men who have sex with men are actively recognized, realized, and respected.


To advocate for equitable access to effective HIV prevention, care, treatment, and support services for gay men and other MSM, including gay men and MSM living with HIV, while promoting their health and human rights worldwide.


In all of our work, the MSMGF foregrounds the values of human rights, self-determination, and working in coalition. We employ approaches that are community-led, strengths-based, sex positive, critically reflexive, evidence-informed, and results-oriented. By integrating these values into our policy, programs, research, and communications strategies, we strive to combine the full range of contributions generated by our constituents with methods that achieve smart, effective, and cost-efficient outcomes.


The MSMGF is led by a 21-member Steering Committee of recognized advocates and AIDS professionals representing every major region of the world. Current Steering Committee members come from Australia, Bangladesh, Cameroon, China, Dominican Republic, India, Jamaica, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Paraguay, Peru, Romania, Russia, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States, and Zimbabwe. All Steering Committee members are appointed through an open, peer-vetted application process.


  • Expanded coverage of quality HIV-related services for gay men and other MSM
  • Realized promotion and protection of human rights for gay men and other MSM
  • Increased investment for effective health- and rights-focused programs for gay men and other MSM
  • Improved knowledge of MSM and HIV through the promotion of research, broad-based information exchange, and communications
  • Engaged MSM advocates, linked to each other and to broader MSM networks at global, regional, sub-regional, and national levels


Gay men and other MSM shoulder a disproportionate burden of the HIV epidemic in virtually every country that reports reliable HIV surveillance data.

Despite a clear imperative to act, the HIV epidemic among MSM continues to go largely unaddressed in many countries. As of December 2011, 93 countries had failed to report any data on HIV prevalence among MSM over the previous 5 years,1 and reports indicate that less than 2% of global HIV prevention funding is directed toward MSM.



The MSMGF believes that policy, programming, and funding initiatives must reflect epidemiological burden and the expressed needs of MSM working on the ground. The MSMGF engages in direct advocacy with major national, regional, and global organizations; builds grassroots advocacy and programming capacity; and works to increase the involvement of grassroots MSM activists in decisions that shape the response to HIV.

Technical Support

Advocacy for appropriate policies at the global level must be complemented by efforts to support implementation of effective programming at the local level. The MSMGF supports local programming by conducting trainings and meetings with community-based organizations, government officials, and health service providers on good practices for LGBT health and organizational development.


The most effective advocacy, programs, and services are those grounded in solid evidence and cogent analysis of structural disparities. To support such efforts, the MSMGF conducts innovative community-based research that is developed, delivered, analyzed, and disseminated in collaboration with our global constituents. The MSMGF has built a substantial research portfolio, including multiple peer-reviewed publications and several large-scale studies on access to HIV services among MSM across more than 160 countries.

Convening Stakeholders

Collaboration and networking across regions and disciplines has the power to exponentially increase the impact and efficacy of the global AIDS response. The MSMGF makes a sustained global effort to convene stakeholders both in person and online. This includes organizing the biennial MSM Pre-Conference at the International AIDS Conference, which has become the world’s largest event focused on the health and human rights of MSM, as well as maintaining a growing web-based network of over 4000 advocates and 2000 organizations across more than 140 countries worldwide.


Advocates and service providers work most effectively when equipped with clear, comprehensive analysis of relevant policies and developments in the field. To meet this need, the MSMGF engages in knowledge translation and knowledge production, generating numerous publications on issues that impact MSM health and human rights at regional and global levels. MSMGF publications focus on parsing complicated policy developments, explaining the fundamentals of existing resources, and illuminating processes that impact MSM.


Strong communication is the lifeblood of a vibrant, responsive, and effective global movement. The MSMGF works to ensure that MSM advocates and service providers have access to the information they need through online information exchange and dissemination, identifying and uploading more than 300 new high-value resources every quarter. These efforts are supplemented by outreach to the press and public forums to ensure that global dialogues on MSM health and human rights are informed by the voices of diverse MSM around the world.


The MSMGF's Strategic Plan for 2012-2016 is available for download here.