No single formula for MCPs

Published: August 16, 2010

JOHANNESBURG, 16 August 2010 (IRIN) – In southern Africa, prevention campaigns highlighting the HIV risks of having more than one partner at the same time have largely targeted heterosexuals and ignored the fact that men who have sex with men also have multiple partners.

"Men who have sex with men" (MSM) describes men who have reported ever having had sex with another man, but who may not necessarily identify themselves as homosexual, or "gay". [http://www.msmgf.org/index.cfm/id/67/MSM-in-the-Global-AIDS-Epidemic/]

In one of the first studies [http://www.irinnews.org/documents/Day1_Bisexual_Concurrency_among_MSM_in_Africa.ppt] to investigate multiple concurrent partnerships (MCPs) among African MSM, just over half of the 537 men surveyed in Malawi, Namibia and Botswana reported that they had had sex with both men and women in the last six months, and about a third of these men reported that the relationships had been concurrent. MCPs have been identified as a main driver of the HIV epidemic in southern Africa. [http://www.onelovesouthernafrica.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/mcp-tz-report_updated-aug-081.pdf]

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