3rd South To South Learning Network Regional Champions meeting in Nairobi, Kenya

The third South to South Learning Network (SSLN) regional champions meeting was held in Nairobi, Kenya from 21th to 25th February 2022. The meeting was attended by over 70 HIV prevention leaders across 10 African Countries and was the first ever physical meeting with the SSLN country champions

The South-South Learning network (SSLN) is an initiative of the Global HIV Prevention Coalition (GPC) under UNAIDS, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and implemented by Genesis Analytics and the University of Manitoba (and Partners for Health and Development in Africa). The network was set up to support the Global HIV Prevention Coalition (GPC) to strengthen country HIV prevention programmes through shared learning and networking.

For the past two years, the South to South Learning Network has helped countries identify and address gaps within their KP and Condom programs. This was done by hosting various activities that encouraged country to country learning across the continent. The 3rd Country Champions meeting held in Nairobi was the first ever physical meeting for the different champions, and it gave them an opportunity to interact face to face with each other.

Speaking at the start of the meeting, Paula Munderi, the director for HIV Prevention at UNAIDS officially welcomed the champions to the meeting and expressed her joy at seeing the progress made by the network. She also appreciated that the SSLN has aligned its objectives with the global AIDS strategy 2021-2026.

The Champions meeting included presentations on African HIV prevention journey on SSLN, skill building sessions on outreach and microplanning for key population programming and optimisation of condom procurement, supply and demand and panel discussion with HIV prevention leads on key issues. The participants also had several sessions as country teams and as constituency teams. Field visits were organised for the champions, who visited Drop in Centres of the for KP subpopulations in Kenya and had a chance to interact with the staff and community members. Some of the workshop themes included Key Population outreach and microplanning, , and roles and responsibilities of various HIV prevention stakeholders.

During the week the champions were able to:

  • Engage with peers working in government, implementation, civil society and development organisations in Africa.
  • Reflect on the two years with the South to South Learning Network, the various learning events and insights, and how it can be translated into action.
  • Learn about new initiatives and best practices in HIV prevention in Africa

Among the highlights of the meeting, were visits to four of the KP sub population sites where the champions met and interacted with the programs. The visits gave the champions a chance to see key population programming in Kenya and share their own experiences with the programs.