department oPlusNews

Sten Baral of the Centre for Public Health and Human Rights at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health noted that HIV prevention strategies needed to happen in a stigma-free environment.

According to research whose results were revealed at the conference, held on 23-25 May, more than one in 20 men taking part in the survey reported consensual participation in a ual act with another man and MSM were twice as likely to be HIV-positive as their heteroual peers.

The survey of 1,737 men – conducted by South Africas Gender Health Research Unit (GHRU) and the Medical Research Council (MRC) in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces – also revealed that MSM were more likely to be poorly educated and suffer from food insecurity than non-MSM. Across the board there was no difference between the various race groups in South Africa.

We see HIV incidence rates for MSM continue to increase in all studied countries; we must advocate for more research, Linda-Gail Bekker, deputy director of the Desmond department oPlusNewsTutu HIV Centre, said in a statement.

No one really wants to talk about anal and what is the safest way to practise it, even though the risks associated with it are huge

We are trying to get the message out there that water-based lubricants need to be used, but then the question for most people is, where do you get it?

Three-quarters of the study participants who reported being MSM had a female partner; one-third had a male partner; 20 percent had both and half those questioned had children. One in 10 MSM had also been ually assaulted by another man.

Copyright © IRIN 2011. All rights reserved. This material comes to you via IRIN, the humanitarian news and analysis service of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Afirs. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the United Nations or its Member States. The boundaries, names and designations used on maps on this site and links to external sites do not imply official endorsement or acceptance by the UN. Republication is subject to terms and conditions as set out in the IRIN copyright page.

No one really wants to talk about anal and what is the safest way to practise it, even though the risks associated with it are huge, he added. For instance, in the townships people use substances like butter, margarine and cooking oil as a lubricant when having anal , but these substances are harmful to condoms.

When we started some of the MSM sensitivity training, the clinic staff were very clearly very opposed to the idea of [homoual] and were not comfortable talking openly with their patients about their ual practices, he said. Through MSM training we are changing peoples minds – not jdepartment of health in eastern capeust about homoual but about in general.

Maasai women and children dressed in their traditional kangas, colorful brics, gather to hear speeches by elders

department oPlusNews,CAPE TOWN, 27 May 2011 (PlusNews) – South African men who have with men are twice as likely to be HIV-positive as heteroual men, but spending on research, prevention and treatment for this group remains low, delegates at a conference on MSM and HIV in Cape Town heard.

Biomedical strategies can only have a limited impact if MSM live in fear, live hidden or have limited access to safe and effective clinical care, he said.

The term MSM refers to men who engage in ual activity with other men but who may also have with women; they do not necessarily consider themselves to be homoual. MSM are considered to be a bridging population for HIV into the general population.

: , Education, Food Security, Gender Issues, HIV/AIDS (PlusNews), Prevention – PlusNews, Stigma/Human Rights/Law – PlusNews,

Bekker called for the introduction of specific HIV packages tailored to the needs of particular groups, including one for MSM.

Men who engage in this activity try to keep it a secret from most people in their communities; they are a hidden group in our society, he told IRIN/PlusNews.

Studies show that the risk of contracting HIV during anal is 18 times higher than during penile-vaginal .

SOUTH AFRICA: Monde Kenneth Hobongwana, The information is there, treatment is there, but still people deult

MSM are at risk [of HIV] because of the nature of their activities, which is underground, said Kristin Dunkle, co-author of the study and assistant professor of behavioural sciences at the Emory Rollins School of Public Health in Atlanta.

Biomedical strategies can only have a limited impact if MSM live in fear, live hidden or have limited access to safe and effective clinical care

Nelis Grobbelaar from the public health NGO, Anova Health Institutes West Coast Winelands Project, said his experience of training health professionals was that they were initially uncomfortable talking about to their patients.

According to Glenn de Swardt, director of the Cape Town-based Health4Men, which established the first clinic in Africa dedicated to MSM, gay people have a sense of identity that is formed through their uality, while MSM often view themselves as heterouals who take part in same- ual acts purely for pleasure.

Delegates were told one of the main barriers MSM encountered when trying to seek HIV-related care was the attitude held by many medical and healthcare providers who were not trained properly to deal with this group.

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