Apply for ‘Sex, Work, Life & HIV: Stigma-Free Services for Sex Workers’ Challenge

Deadline: 8 March 2019

The Positive Action Challenges in partnership with The International AIDS Society (IAS) is seeking concept notes for a program entitled “Sex, Work, Life & HIV: Stigma-Free Services for Sex Workers”.


  • This challenge is looking for both new and existing responses where sex worker communities and healthcare providers work together to provide stigma-free access to HIV prevention services.
  • There are two challenge prizes up for grabs, please consider the following criteria relevant to the prize, applicants are applying for:
    • A Seed Prize to pilot a brand-new idea.
      • Successful new ideas will: commit to an active collaboration between the community/civil society and healthcare provider.
    • A Grand Prize to expand or scale-up an existing project, applicants is involved in.
      • Successful existing projects will:
        • Explain how the community/civil society and healthcare provider are working together to make the project successful.
        • Prove that the project is enabling more sex workers to access HIV prevention services with quantitative evidence.
        • Demonstrate that the project is acceptable to the targeted sex worker community with qualitative evidence.

Prize Information

  • Apply for a $25,000 seed prize to pilot a brand-new idea.
  • Apply for a $75,000 grand prize to expand or scale-up an existing project you are involved in.


  • Sex worker: “female, male and transgender adults who have consensual sex in exchange for money or goods, either regularly or occasionally.”
    • Special consideration will be given to new ideas and existing projects that support young sex workers. There is no requirement to disaggregate or separate sex workers by age for existing projects.
  • Healthcare providers: organisations made up of healthcare professionals from the private or the public sector that offers HIV prevention services. These organisations may include clinics, hospitals, or healthcare centres.
  • HIV prevention services: including comprehensive HIV and reproductive health services, PrEP and STI management, and provide information on gender-based violence services, legal and psycho-social support.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Positive Action Challenges are open to any applicant who is:
    • an individuals under 18 are eligible to participate in any Challenge unless prohibited by applicable law) ; or
    • a group of individuals ; or
    • one or more public or private entities, including, without limitation, universities, academic institutions, not-for-profit entities and private sector organisations.
  • Unless otherwise restricted by the Challenge, the Applicant may be from any geographic area.
  • The Applicant must comply with these Challenge Rules and all funding rules associated with any Challenge prizes.
  • The Applicant may not be a healthcare provider who is qualified to prescribe medicinal products or directly or indirectly influence the use of such products. In the event the Applicant is a governmental entity or a governmental employee, ViiV Healthcare reserves the right to conduct an evaluation to ensure Applicant’s eligibility with these Challenge Rules and any applicable Challenge criteria.
  • In addition, ViiV Healthcare reserves the right to evaluate the eligibility of any government official or the eligibility of Applicants that reside in a jurisdiction that restricts or prohibits contests. The Applicant, including each individual member of an Applicant group, may not be an employee of ViiV Healthcare or any of its affiliates, a judge of the Challenge in question, or any other party involved with the design, production, execution or distribution of the Challenge or a member of the household of such an individual.
  • The Applicant must not be or have a member who is currently on the Excluded Parties List maintained by the United States government. There is no maximum team size. Each Applicant must assign at least one named team leader. If Applicant teams include members under 18 years of age, those members are required to submit a Parent Consent Form signed by a parent or legal guardian.

Judging Criteria

In evaluating entries and determining winners of the challenge prizes, the Judges will apply the following core criteria. In addition to these criteria, entries must specifically show that they reduce stigma and discrimination faced by key populations in healthcare settings.

  • People Centred: Entries may focus on a process, technology or other method but the ultimate benefit must be measurable in terms of impact on people’s lives. Must ensure privacy, demonstrate an ability to not perpetuate stigma and discrimination associated with HIV and enhance active community participation in solution development.
  • Replicable: Entries can be replicated and adapted by others at low cost to ensure broader implementation and uptake as quickly as possible in similar settings.
  • Scalable: Entries must demonstrate how they can be scaled beyond pilot programmes to large scale responses that can be implemented at greater/national scale.
  • Affordable: Entries must demonstrate affordability (low-cost or no-cost to the end users) within resource limited settings or other similar settings as detailed in the individual challenges.
  • Sustainable: Entries must demonstrate how they are implementable in the longer term (beyond the lifecycle of prize funding) using the resources that already exist or which can be incremental to existing service delivery.
  • Achieving substantive change: Successful entries are expected to change the thoughts, processes and other barriers that prevent people living in resource limited settings from receiving the best care possible within the resources (financial and other) available, demonstrating a clear benefit to the people and systems targeted.

How to Apply

Applicants can apply online via given website.

For more information, please visit

  • Abel Nyakambangwe says:

    I do offer HIV services and ready to offer services to sex workers during the night as they will be active I call this the Nicodemus approach can I have funding

    • Priyanka says:

      Hi Abel Nyakambangwe,

      For more information on eligibility criteria, application process and more, please visit the link given on the last line of the post.

      Good luck!

  • Samlee says:

    how much information do we need include in the concept note

    • Ritu at fundsforNGOs says:

      Hi Samlee,

      For more information on eligibility criteria, application process and more, please visit the link given on the last line of the post.

      Good luck!

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