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Key affected populations

People who belong to key affected populations (KAPs) are people who for one reason or another are more vulnerable to HIV infection.

This could be because they engage in high-risk behaviours such as injecting drugs, or because they are marginalised by society and fearful of accessing HIV-services.

An effective response to the HIV epidemic requires that these groups are targeted by HIV prevention programmes with information and services that are specific to them.

Two men holding hands
Homosexual acts are illegal in more than a third of countries, preventing men who have sex with men (MSM) from accessing HIV services.
Person passed out on the couch after injecting heroin
13% of all people who inject drugs are living with HIV. PWID are repeatedly denied access to harm reduction programmes.
Sex worker standing by the door
Sex workers are 12 times more likely to be living with HIV than the general population and are difficult for HIV services to reach.
A man behind a fence
Incarceration increases HIV vulnerability, especially when prisoners engage in high risk behaviours like injecting drugs.
Transgender women in HIV clinic
Being transgender is strongly associated with stigma and discrimination. They also lack access to tailored HIV services.
Malawian woman
Women are often vulnerable to HIV due to unequal gender relations which affects their ability to negotiate condom use.
Grandparent playing with orphaned children
240,000 children became infected with HIV in 2013, the majority of which were from mother-to-child during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
Young people at school
Young people are a priority for HIV prevention messages because it’s most effective to change behaviour before sexual debut.

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