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J Int AIDS Soc. 2016 Jul 17;19(3 Suppl 2):20790. doi: 10.7448/IAS.19.3.20790. eCollection 2016.

How Peru introduced a plan for comprehensive HIV prevention and care for transwomen.

Author information

Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Sexuality, AIDS and Society, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru;
Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Sexuality, AIDS and Society, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru.
RedTrans-Perú, Lima, Peru.
UNAIDS, Office for the Andean Region, Lima, Peru.
Ministerio de Salud del Perú, Lima, Peru.
Instituto Nacional de Salud del Perú, Lima, Peru.



As a group, transwomen in Peru have the highest prevalence of HIV (>20%) in the country, but they have little access to HIV prevention, testing and care services. Until recently, Peru's national HIV programme did not recognize transwomen and had remained essentially static for decades. This changed in December 2014, when the Ministry of Health expressed its commitment to improve programming for transwomen and to involve transwomen organizations by prioritizing the development of a "Targeted Strategy Plan of STIs/HIV/AIDS Prevention and Comprehensive Care for Transwomen."


A policy dialogue between key stakeholders - Peru's Ministry of Health, academic scientists, civil society, transgender leaders and international agencies - created the conditions for a change in Peru's national HIV policy for transwomen. Supported by the effective engagement of all sectors, the Ministry of Health launched a plan to provide comprehensive HIV prevention and care for transwomen. The five-year plan includes new national guidelines for HIV prevention, care and support, and country-level investments in infrastructure and equipment. In addition to new biomedical strategies, the plan also incorporates several strategies to address structural factors that contribute to the vulnerability of transwomen. We identified three key factors that created the right conditions for this change in Peru's HIV policy. These factors include (1) the availability of solid evidence, based on scientific research; (2) ongoing efforts within the transwomen community to become better advocates of their own rights; and (3) a dialogue involving honest discussions between stakeholders about possibilities of changing the nation's HIV policy.


The creation of Peru's national plan for HIV prevention and care for transwomen shows that long-term processes, focused on human rights for transwomen in Peru, can lead to organizational and public-policy change.


HIV prevention; Peru; evidence synthesis; policy dialogue; structural vulnerability; transwomen

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