Gay men and other men who have sex with men in West Africa: evidence from the field.

Published: December 17, 2012

Abstract

This paper presents a synthesis of lessons learned from field experiences in HIV prevention, treatment and care services for men who have sex with men in the four contiguous West African countries of the Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea-Conakry and Senegal. Service provision for men who have sex with men in these countries is contextualised by the epidemiology of HIV, as well as the socio-political environment. These countries share notable commonalities in terms of social structures and culture, though past approaches to the needs of men who have sex with men have varied greatly. This synthesis includes three distinct components. The first focuses on what is known about HIV epidemiology among men who have sex with men in these countries and provides an overview of the data gaps affecting the quality of service provision. The second aspect describes the HIV prevention and treatment services currently available and how organisations and strategies have evolved in their approach to working with men who have sex with men. Finally, an examination of the political and cultural climate highlights socio-cultural factors that enable or impede HIV prevention and treatment efforts for men who have sex with men. The review concludes with a series of recommendations for impactful research, advocacy and service provision to improve the health and human rights context for men who have sex with men in West Africa.

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