In the Dominican Republic, one of the questions most faced by public health officials, law enforcement and civil society is how to address gender-based violence (GBV) – particularly intimate partner violence (IPV) and violence against key populations (men who have sex with men, transgender women, sex workers) and people living with HIV.
To respond to the urgent need for GBV response and address the concentrated epidemic of HIV in the country, the USAID and PEPFAR-supported LINKAGES project supported the Center for Promotion and Human Solidarity (CEPROSH), operating in Puerto Plata, to integrate GBV services into their existing HIV program beginning in late 2016. The integration effort not only created a unique opportunity to meet pressing needs, it also provided us the chance to evaluate the approach and help build the evidence base for effective integrated strategies to address GBV and HIV. For the program implementers, the evaluation revealed how they perceived their new responsibilities and provided information for intervention improvement and data to support local advocacy and build buy-in. We describe our evaluation and results in this post.