As the HIV response adapts to the largest and most significant developments in HIV prevention in over 20 years, it is timely to investigate and articulate the diverse ways in which community organisations influence and impact the epidemic. While the emergence of PrEP and treatment as prevention (TasP) have undoubtedly helped to reduce incidence of HIV transmission in some populations, there is much to do in ensuring these technologies reach those who need them most and that no one is left behind. Peer and community-based organisations will be crucial to this effort given their capacity to engage with marginalised or hard-to-reach populations. Peer and community-based organisations will also continue to be the central force ensuring equity of healthcare and treatment access, while contributing to the broader sexual health and well-being of HIV affected people in a myriad of other ways through individual, community and policy-based initiatives.
However, the evidence base that clearly demonstrates this crucial role is limited, complicated by the significant challenges inherent to complex, community-embedded ways of working. In an increasingly biomedical era, the role of peer and community organisations and social and behavioural interventions has been called into question by funders, with reductions in funding already documented across the globe.