Partnership to Inspire, Transform and Connect the HIV response (PITCH)
PITCH supports local organisations that work with marginalised communities and adolescent girls and young women to advocate, generate evidence and improve policy in the HIV response.
This enables men who have sex with men, sex workers, transgender people, people who use drugs and adolescent girls and young women to realise their human rights and get equal access to HIV and sexual and reproductive health services.
PITCH does this across nine countries. Together with around 90 civil society organisations, we advocate for changes to laws and policies that impact the enjoyment of equal rights and access to HIV-services of marginalised communities.
In each country, PITCH brings together organisations representing different populations and issues, building coalitions, setting joint agendas, sharing learning, and achieving stronger voices speaking up on what matters.
Drawing on evidence generated by country partners, PITCH fights for equal rights through inter-governmental mechanisms and other global policy spaces, on human rights, sustainable financing and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). PITCH also works to influence the global agenda for harm reduction and drug policy reform.
Regional partners bring additional capacity to advocate for change in key areas and with regional or non-traditional stakeholders. In Southern Africa, PITCH partners advocate to expand HIV combination prevention. In Eastern Europe and Central Asia, regional partners are working with local municipal governments and with regional inter-governmental mechanisms, to raise the voices of marginalised populations.
PITCH is a strategic partnership between Aidsfonds, Frontine AIDS and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and is funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs as part of their “Dialogue and Dissent” programme. It runs between 2016 and 2020.
- In 2018, PITCH began an exciting collaborative photography and advocacy training initiative with PhotoVoice, a UK-based organisation, in Myanmar, Nigeria and Uganda. The training provided by PhotoVoice has helped PITCH partners in all three countries to produce creative and compelling images that communicate the impact of the HIV epidemic on marginalised populations, and the importance of guaranteeing equality of access to HIV related services.
- In March 2018 in Kenya, PITCH partner NGLHRC (National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission) played an important role in a landmark hearing at the Court of Appeal in Mombasa, which ruled that forced anal testing on men suspected of engaging in consensual anal sex is illegal. In a country where gay sex is illegal and punishable by 14 years in jail, this is a fantastic achievement.
- In Zimbabwe, local partners have been able to influence the country’s important pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) guidelines as well as key elements of the Ministry of Health and Child Care’s Minimum Services Package Manual. In doing so, these organisations are influencing policy designed to address the needs of people who use drugs, who are highly vulnerable to HIV infection.
- In Myanmar, PITCH partners have participated in several capacity building activities, enabling them confidently participate in consultation meetings with Myanmar’s Upper Congress, and to gather the evidence they need to inform their advocacy. To attend formal advocacy meetings with Myanmar’s parliamentarians, as representatives from the MSM, former prisoner, and drug user communities, represented a significant result for PITCH.
- In Nigeria in 2017, the national government’s Proposal to Amend the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Act threatened to remove judges’ sentencing discretion for drug use and to increase the criminal sentence for those convicted of drug use to 25 years, the maximum term available. With support from PITCH, local partners were able to respond to this threat by mobilising a wide selection of civil society organisations, waging a targeted social media campaign, and enlisting the help of the former Nigerian president. As a result, they were successful in their campaign to prevent the NDLEA passing into law.
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