Investigation into the status of Chinese MSM groups
China HIV/AIDS Information Network, beijng, China
Background: In 2009,the proportion of new infections accounted for by MSM infections increased rapidly from 12.2% in 2007 to 32.5%. According to incomplete statistics, China currently has more than 300 MSM groups working in the field of HIV/AIDS prevention. The government and relevant professional bodies have already recognized the importance of these MSM voluntary organizations. However, due to problems with funding, human resources, legitimacy and technical capacity, these MSM CBOs can not make as significant contribution as they otherwise could.
Methods: Both quantitative and qualitative methods were applied to collect data. Qualitative investigations were carried out in the form of a web-based survey, covering 121 MSM groups in 23 provinces. A quantitative survey was carried out through in-depth interviews with 29 members of 9 MSM groups.
Results: The greatest challenges faced by MSM groups are:1. Lack of funding. In 2008, 33.9% of MSM groups had an annual budget of less than 1,500 USD, and 12.4% had no funds whatsoever. Only 8.3% of groups had more than 28,000 USD/year.2. Lack of legal registration. Only 11.5% of MSM NGOs have legal status, and only one was registered as a non-profit with the Bureau of Civil Affairs.The most urgent requirements are funding and policy support. 89.3% of groups said their greatest requirement was for more funding, 47.1% said policy support, 38% said technical support.The survey also demonstrated that cooperation among MSM groups and the CDC is very important.
Conclusions: The capacity and efficiency of MSM organizations directly impact on the HIV prevention work they carry out. MSM organizations need to improve their skills, but more importantly, CDCs at all levels need to decentralize funding and resources to NGOs on the front-line, and enhance effective management and monitoring. To reduce the epidemic among MSM, respect and strong cooperation between the CDC and MSM organizations is indispensable