Methods of reduction of impact of stigma during realisation of programs of HIV/STI’s prevention among men who have sex with men (MSM) at local level
Issues: The researches which have been carried out among gays and bisexuals in Omsk region, show a high level of prevalence of risk behaviour. However the organizations, preventive projects and research groups face to difficulties in the communications with MSM. A high level of intolerance, homophobia, stigmatization in a society are the main reasons. They lead to that MSM avoid active participation in life of their community, remaining mainly closed.
Description: Since 2007 the "Siberian Alternative" Center realizes the project "PULSAR" (effective HIV/STI’s prevention among ??? in Omsk). The main tasks of the project are growth of number of MSM, who are involved in groups activity and in community organizations; introduction of effective communicative measures of HIV/STI’s prevention among MSM at a local level. The community centre was created; the telephone help-line and the Internet-site were open. Outreach-workers of the project not only distributed the information and materials (condoms, lubricants), but also invited people to joint actions in the community centre. The important part of the project is realization of local information campaigns which are aimed at reduction of negative impact of stigma on HIV/STI’s prevention among MSM. Campaigns for tolerance to homosexuality and for Coming Out were carried out.
Lessons learned: Internal stigma and internal homophobia among ?S? complicates realization of prevention programs much more than external stigma of other society. Effective HIV/STI’s prevention among MSM at local level demands obligatory efforts for social – psychological adaptation and MSM community development.
Next steps: Introduction low-barrier social and psychological service for MSM for assistance for Coming Out and to overcoming of internal homophobia. Advocacy of interests of groups of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people is necessary. New campaigns at local level which aim on tolerance, friendly service, Coming Out.
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