MSM Advocates from the MENA Region Launch “M-Coalition”: The First Arab Coalition on MSM and HIV

(Melbourne, Australia) – As part of the International Aids Conference, the M-Coalition was officially launched and presented to the International community at large ceremony yesterday at the Clarendon in Melbourne, followed by a series of sessions and interventions across the global village.

Hosted by the Arab Foundation of Freedom and Equality (AFE), the M-Coalition is a unique advocacy platform that aims to coordinate on local, regional, and international levels to facilitate the access to HIV prevention, care, treatment, and quality support among men who have sex with men (MSM) in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region. The M-Coalition will pursue its aims through advocacy, research, creation of favorable environments, capacity building and follow-up, exchange of good practices, and collaboration with key policy makers and existing structures of health and human rights.

According to Johnny Tohme, the executive director of M-Coalition, “At this key moment where the end of the HIV epidemic is potentially within reach, we have committed to increase our efforts envisioning an Arab world where the right to health and all other human rights of MSM and are recognized, realized, and protected.”

With support from the Global Forum on MSM & HIV (MSMGF), a number of civil society advocates and service providers from the Arab region gathered in Lebanon on January 2014 and in Tunisia on May 2014 to discuss the future of HIV work among MSM in the region, responding to the failure of the current response to keep the epidemic from dramatically increasing among this key population.

Contact person:
Johnny Tohme

AFE is a regional non-governmental organization, focusing its efforts exclusively on Arab states across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), by supporting grassroots activist groups and organizations (Regional Partners) who are working on a wide range of initiatives including human rights, gender and sexual health.

M-Coalition is supported by the Positive Action Program within ViiV Healthcare.

Source – MSM Global Forum