South Africa’s progressive constitution and legal framework should facilitate equality and freedom from discrimination. Yet, research has shown the need for improved HIV prevention interventions for MSM and the barriers they face when accessing sexual and reproductive health services in South Africa. HIV prevalence among these men in South Africa is estimated to range from 10– 50%.
Apart from specialised MSM health services in three metropolitan areas, no national MSM programming exists and none of the NSP targets relating to MSM have been reached. Data around HIV testing and prevalence were the only MSM UNGASS indicators reported on for South Africa in 2010.
Inequality, violence, insensitive health services, poor socioeconomic status, limited access to condoms and compatible lubrication, stigma, homophobia, drug use and discrimination are social and structural factors that continue to increase the vulnerability of MSM to HIV infection. High risk sexual behaviours have also been shown to contribute to the risk of HIV acquisition among MSM. Sexual coercion and violence within detention settings is under-reported and poses a significant risk for HIV acquisition among detainees.
Evidence exists to inform appropriate programming, so now is the time for the commitment of funding and the roll-out of MSM services.
-Read the full brief at the link below-