MARPI (Most at Risk populations Initiative) is a legally constituted Private Not For Profit (PNFP) organization registered under the laws of Uganda, registration no: 104041. The organization is affiliated to the National STD control unit- Mulago of the STD/ACP-Ministry of Health and registered as a Non-Governmental Organization-(NGO) under the NGO board.
The organization was founded in 2008, following a realization there risk and the vulnerability of HIV greatly varied from population to population. Some are much more vulnerable to HIV/STIs and others are already have a burden that is disproportionately much greater than others. This remains clearly evidenced in variations in HIV prevalences and in which populations most of the new infection are arising from. A glaring example is that of sex work where HIV prevalence is 35% compared to 7.3% in the general population.
Unfortunately, despite the disproportionate HIV/STIs burden in these populations, focused, targeted interventions/programs for them were scarce and where they existed, lacked scale, intensity and the quality required to create the desired impact. Secondly the existing environment under which to address the root causes pertaining to these populations was extremely unconducive as a result of deeply rooted stigma, discrimination, social exclusion coupled with harsh cultural, political, religious and legal environments. As result, these populations referred to as Key populations (Sex workers, Men who Sex with other men, Transgender people, People who use and Inject drugs and the Incarcerated) and other vulnerable populations in local context (Fishing communities, Long Distance Trucker drivers, and Uniformed forces) missed out on critical interventions for HIV/STI prevention, control, care and treatment. MARPI was then founded with a mission to address existing gaps and reach out to these populations. Over time the organization has evolved to reach out to even other populations including adolescents, young people, women among others because of the ever increasing vulnerabilities in them.
Universal access to HIV/STI/ SRH&R and other health services by the Most At Risk, Key and Vulnerable populations and Socio-economic Empowerment