Named for the Hindi word for ‘effort,’ the Koshish programme supported advocacy and action to improve sexual & reproductive health (SRH) of people living with HIV (PLHIV) and key populations in India.
Funded by the European Union, the programme strengthened civil society organisations and networks that represent and work with PLHIV and other marginalised groups, such as female sex workers (FSWs), men who have sex with men (MSM), transgenders, hijras and people who inject drugs (PWID).
Through coalitions, Koshish partner organisations worked at state and district levels, affirming principles of empowerment and meaningful partnership as core elements of effective advocacy. The programme was successful in advancing community-led advocacy initiatives that raised awareness of SRH challenges faced by PLHIV.
Community priorities were then taken up by state-level advocacy coalitions established by Koshish and comprised of civil society organisations, PLHIV networks, community-based organisations working for and led by key populations, and media.
Koshish successfully advocated for appropriate interventions to address critical challenges facing PLHIV, including social stigma and discrimination, limited accessibility to and availability of essential SRH services, and lack of a comprehensive approach to the SRH needs of PLHIV, particularly of women living with HIV (WLHIV). For instance, the programme increased access for WLHIV in the four programme states to Pap smear testing. WLHIV are five-times more susceptible to cervical cancer than other women. Alliance India implemented Koshish in partnership with CHETNA, MAMTA, PWDS and VMM, along with state-level PLHIV networks in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.