Come home to Humsafar!

Research is an integral part of the work conducted by Humsafar Trust. Initiated in 1992, the research unit was formalized in 2004 as an independent department. Humsafar Trust is the first CBO to set up its own Institutional Review Board (IRB) with Federal Wide Assurance certificate. Humsafar Trust has collaborated with leading research agencies such as IAVI, ICMR, ICRW, FHI 360 as well as academic institutions such as TISS (Mumbai), University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston (Houston), University of Minnesota (Minnesota), UCSF (San Francisco), Northwestern University (Chicago), Einstein Medical School and Montefiore Medical Center (New York), Brown University (Providence), Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston), University of Toronto (Toronto), and Baldwin Wallace College (Cleveland) on numerous studies, and has presented abstracts at major HIV conference such as (AIDS, IAS, APHA, ICAAP) over the last eight years.

The Humsafar Trust implements research studies for LGBTQ+ communities in both Delhi and Mumbai. The Mumbai team is led by a consulting project director with over 20 years of experience in LGBTQ+ research in the last decade, Humsafar Trust has implemented over 25 national- and internationally-funded research studies with reputed agencies. Humsafar Trust’s team of researchers currently has two full-time study coordinators, one full-time statistician, two full-time research associates, three full-time research assistants along with six study interviewers, virtual outreach workers, and two health workers.

The Humsafar Trust is the only LGBTQ+ organization with a DHR-registered IRB and an FWA certificate. Humsafar Trust holds research dissemination meetings every other year to which government officials, HIV program funding agencies, academia, policy and key decision makers, and community members are invited. During these meetings, Humsafar Trust shares results with these stakeholders, addresses any queries, builds rapport with agencies, and keeps the community informed to increase awareness of HIV issues. These meetings are open invitation to the community, and usually have about 150 participants, with half of the attendees’ stakeholders and the other half community members. Over the last decade, findings from Humsafar Trust’s research studies have contributed toward providing India-specific evidence for PrEP and HIV self-testing implementation; virtual outreach for hard-to-engage MSM and TGW; and influence of anti-LGBTQ+ laws on health and safety of LGBTQ+ communities.

Research Studies : Ongoing and Recently Completed ( April 22 – March 2023 )


CHALO 2.0: A mobile-technology-based intervention to accelerate HIV testing and linkage to prevention and treatment

Project Chetana: Adapting an effective intervention for enhancing engagement in HIV care to meet the needs of key populations in India

MFARR – Mobilizing for a Research Revolution to Ensure LGBTQ Inclusion in Asia

IIR 2022: Sexual networks, HIV/STI prevalence and access to services amid COVID-19 pandemic for key populations in India and Kenya

DiGiTaPP Study: Inclusion of Perspectives from Emerging Digitally Driven Risk Networks in Defining a Target Product Profile (TPP) for next-generation HIV Prevention Vaccines

Project Ekatra: Co-occurring factors that heighten transgender women's vulnerability to suboptimal ART adherence in India

Project ‘CARET: Consortium for Advancing LGBTQ+ Health Research, Policy Engagement & Training

Project ELICIT: Evaluating the effectiveness of gamified and experiential interventions in expediting enrolment and retention in experimental HIV vaccine trials


Reducing health inequalities among sexual minorities in India: generating evidence for action

#SafeHandsSafeHearts: The effect of an eHealth intervention on COVID-19 knowledge, behaviours and mental wellness of LGBT+ people – a randomized control trial

Chalo Delhi: Implementation science approach for increasing HIV testing uptake among online MSM in Delhi, India: Testing acceptability, feasibility and real world-effectiveness virtual interventions

Project Harmony: Reducing discrimination faced by MSM and Transgender Women in public hospitals: A pilot multi-level intervention using a quasi-experimental design

Accelerating the access and uptake of HIV self-testing (HIV-ST) in India: A Demonstration Project

Title: #: Acceptability and feasibility of broadly neutralizing antibodies as HIV prevention products in India

SWAG 3.0: How LGBTQ+ people think, learn, and disclose about Mental Health on social media

Health Status and Hormone Use among Adult Transgender Women with or without HIV

IIR 2022: Sexual networks, HIV/STI prevalence and access to services amid COVID-19 pandemic for key populations in India and Kenya