Men who have sex with men (MSM) are at high risk for HIV in Senegal, with a prevalence of 21.5%. In December 2008, nine male HIV prevention workers were imprisoned for “acts against nature” prohibited by Senegalese law. This qualitative study assessed the impact of these arrests on HIV prevention efforts. A purposive sample of MSM in six regions of Senegal was recruited by network referral. 26 in-depth interviews (IDIs) and 6 focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted in July–August 2009. 14 key informants were also interviewed. All participants reported pervasive fear and hiding among MSM as a result of the December 2008 arrests and publicity. Service providers suspended HIV prevention work with MSM out of fear for their own safety. Those who continued to provide services noticed a sharp decline in MSM participation. An effective response to the HIV epidemic in Senegal should include active work to decrease enforcement of this law.
Full text of article available at link below –