The Humsafar Trust (HST) is India’s first community-based organization (CBO) of self-identified homosexual men, MSM (Men who have Sex with Men), Hijras, and LBT persons. The Humsafar Trust has been at the forefront of LGBTQ+ rights and health and played a significant role in shaping the health and rights of the LGBTQ+ community. The Humsafar Trust (HST) is based in Mumbai & Delhi working for health and rights of LGBTQ+ communities.
To put an end to the HIV epidemic it is crucial to recognize that marginalized communities experience disparities that cannot be addressed by only treating the virus but also creating an enabling environment to access stigma free services. HIV has transformed into a chronic and manageable condition, no longer a terminal illness, and therefore burdening the communities with risk factors is not the solution.
Additionally, HST works with regional partners in 27 states of India to address the needs of the communities in urban areas. HST currently reaches out to 3500 Men who have sex with men (MSM), Transgender/Hijra women exclusively through its 4 clinics which are supported by NACO–MDACS (National AIDS Control Organization and Mumbai District AIDS Control Society). Over the last two decades, HST has become a hub of the LGBTQ+ community in Mumbai and across India, providing services for the prevention, treatment, and management of HIV/AIDS and STIs (sexually transmitted infections).
- Integrated HIV Clinics: - The clinic conducts HIV and Syphilis testing for clients referred by Targeted Interventions as well as walk-in clients. The process involves Pre-test counseling, where the counselor gathers detailed case history, particularly focusing on understanding the sexual history of the client. Currently, four clinics are managed at four distinct locations, namely Mumbai, Guwahati, Nagpur, and Delhi.
- Targeted Interventions: - The Humsafar Trust runs three Targeted Interventions (TIs) supported by NACO-MDACS with an aim to reduce HIV/STI prevalence among Men who have Sex with Men (MSM) and TG/ Hijra communities. These projects aim to promote safer sex practices among MSM and TG groups, improve access to government healthcare facilities, and create an enabling environment for MSM/TGs on selected sites of Mumbai district. The focus is on reducing the transmission rates and promoting access to health care and reducing stigma against MSM and TG communities. A total of 2200 MSM and 1000 TG clients have been reached out to through these TIs. All three TI (Targeted Interventions) projects have initiated virtual outreach to tap into the social and sexual networks of clients using mobile-based apps and other online platforms.
- LINK ART (Anti-Retroviral Therapy) Centre: - The Humsafar Trust (HST), a community-based organization, has set up India’s first integrated Community-Based HIV treatment (Link Anti-Retroviral Therapy Centre) and holistic LGBTQ+ clinic in Santacruz (East), Mumbai. The community-based link Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) center is a pilot differentiated care project supported by the Government of India (GOI) that aims to further facilitate the uptake of treatment of the stable client (the person’s viral load should be suppressed and should be enrolled in the Nodal ART Center for a year) and care among marginalized communities who continue to face stigma and discrimination. The link ART center is facilitating access to treatment and care among most at-risk communities, including the Transgender community, MSM, and Female Sex workers. This center provides free HIV medications provided by the National AIDS Control Organization (NACO).