AMSHeR: Addressing vulnerability of MSM and M2F Trans Women to HIV
AMSHeR is the regional coalition of MSM/LGBT led organizations and other organizations (Mainstream HIV and Human Rights Organizations) that work to address the vulnerability of MSM and Male-to-female transgender women to HIV. AMSHeR is currently made up of 15 organizations from 13 Countries (Botswana, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe) and intend to extend invitations to other countries and organizations to ensure the visibility and representativeness of all aspects of MSM and transgender life on the continent. It is currently the only regional coalition working to address the human rights and health related issues faced by MSM and MTF persons in Africa.
Of all the human rights issues facing men who have sex with men (MSM) and male-to-female transgender persons (MTF) in Africa, the lack of access to health-related rights is perhaps the most pressing. MSM and MTF individuals face a wide array of health concerns and have few advocates. Research findings indicate that with regards to HIV/AIDS, MSM are highly vulnerable while facing substantial marginalization with regards to access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services. Consensual same-sex activity remains criminalized in 39 out of 53 African countries. The pressure of anti-homosexuality laws and social stigma leads to heightened problems with exclusion of MSM and MTF from HIV programs as the much-too-often outcome. And we have seen an increasing recourse to coercive measures in the region – Uganda, Malawi, Rwanda, Swaziland etc
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