Spotlight 2: Naz Male Health Alliance, Pakistan

Spotlight 2: Naz Male Health Alliance, Pakistan

HIV Australia | Vol. 11 No. 4 | November 2013

Naz Male Health Alliance (NMHA) is the first and only men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender community-based organisation in Pakistan.

Founded in 2011, it provides technical, financial and institutional support for improving the sexual health, welfare and human rights of the MSM and transgender community throughout the country.

The organisation supports MSM and transgender community mobilisation, and has been working in five cities across Pakistan (Lahore, Karachi, Rawalpindi, Hyderabad and Larkana) to establish community-based organisations in areas with a large concentration of hijra (transgender) deras (dwellings).

The service delivery at the CBO level includes HIV voluntary counselling and testing, sexually transmissible infection diagnoses and treatment, behaviour change communication, and condom and lubricant distribution through outreach as well as through a drop-in centre/clinic.

NMHA is committed to generate evidence for designing needs-based and targeted interventions for MSM and transgender communities in Pakistan and towards this end has undertaken a number of small research initiatives during the short period of its operation.

However due to the conservative religious culture, political volatility and security situation in Pakistan, at the national level NMHA operates with minimal visibility to protect the identity of both clients as well as staff.

Pakistan’s punitive laws against male-to-male sex remains the biggest barrier to effective service delivery to the community.