In 2003, the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation initiated “Avahan” a large scale HIV prevention program in India. The goal was to halt the HIV epidemic in India by rapidly building a scaled HIV prevention program for core and bridge population groups across 4 Southern and 2 Northeastern states in India representing approximately 80% of India's HIV burden in 2002. Avahan offered a standardised package of known and proven prevention interventions to high-risk groups and bridge populations in the geographic areas most affected by the epidemic. The program reached 220 000 female sex workers; 80 000 High risk MSM; 18 000 Injecting drug users and 5 million men at risk. By December 2008, Avahan had achieved significant scale and coverage with over 75% of total denominator including FSW and high risk MSM contacted monthly through outreach. The presentation will include the challenges at the start of the program, Avahan approaches to rapid scale up while leveraging data to ensure focus on highest at risk through provision of a standardised package of services (known as the Common Minimum Program).
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