The toolkit is a training resource containing participatory exercises in order to understand and challenge stigma. Men who have sex with men (MSM) are the main target group, but it is intended for other affected groups to benefit from the toolkit too. There are messages, information and activities that can be adapted and used for other key populations.
This version has been designed to use in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, and includes adapted exercises and stories that are more relevant to this context. In different countries in the MENA region there are emerging concentrated HIV epidemics among key populations, notably men who have sex with men (MSM), male and female sex workers and people who inject drugs.
USAID’s Middle East and North Africa Regional Programme, implemented by the Alliance, has been working with local partner organisations in Morocco, Tunisia, Lebanon and Algeria since 2004. They have been responding to the sexual health needs of MSM and other key populations through support to capacity-building, peer education, advocacy and outreach programmes.
The stigma toolkit was originally developed by the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) and then revised by the International HIV/AIDS Alliance (Alliance) with support from Sweden and Norad. A further adaptation focusing on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region was undertaken under the C-Change project of USAID and published under AIDSTAR-Two.
How to use the toolkit?
- Target audiences: The exercises in the toolkit can be used with a wide range of audiences. However, they have been developed particularly to support HIV prevention programmes in the MENA region, where HIV is a concentrated epidemic. The exercises focus on work with key populations – primarily MSM, sex workers, people who inject drugs and people living with HIV.
- Understanding the exercises: The toolkit is designed not only to build awareness but also to support participants to take action. Participants should be encouraged to put their new learning into action and start challenging stigma and violence in their own lives, families and communities. The exercises are laid out in a simple format so you can read through and understand how to use them.
- Planning a training programme: The toolkit is organised into eight chapters, each addressing a different theme. There is an overview at the beginning of each chapter.
- Chapter 1 Identifying stigma – identifying the forms, causes and effects of stigma
- Chapter 2 Building more understanding of HIV and AIDS – addressing the fears about HIV transmission that lie behind stigma
- Chapter 3 Judgments, values and stigma – exploring beliefs, attitudes and judgments that can lead to stigma
- Chapter 4 Stigma and MSM – focusing on why and how stigma towards MSM happens
- Chapter 5 Disclosure – strategies for disclosing information that may lead to stigma
- Chapter 6 Sex, gender and stigma – exploring sensitive issues linked to gender and sex
- Chapter 7 Coping with stigma and fighting for rights – combatting stigma by maintaining rights
- Chapter 8 Ideas for planning action against stigma
- Using participatory techniques in a workshop: The exercises in this toolkit rely on a wide variety of participatory training techniques. They have outlined some key points about the most common techniques below to help you plan and facilitate your stigma training.
- Summary of exercises