Revisiting systemic tendencies as a means of improving gay public health in Uganda

Published: February 8, 2012

Of recent (since 2010) I have tried to inventory seminars, sessions and space
activities and their objectives. I was trying to come up with a private profile to help
me gauge what influences active social life for "gay" people here. Below are my
findings:
My benchmark of sensitivity, competence, health vigilance was:
leadership/organisation development (e.g. AGM); business/enterprise-skilling
seminars; literacy/numeracy seminars; responsible citizenship seminars; community
fund raising meetings; party with alcoholic drinks; solemn prayer meetings; HIV/STIs
health meetings; support meetings for MSM Living with HIV ( LHIV); attending a
court hearing; attending a seminar on discrimination/stigma; attending a conference
on sexuality, orientation, gender and identity (to share experiences with
LGBTIQQ/MSM/WSW); attending rights-based conferences; same sex wedding.

From 2010-2012, I have personally set out to attend/ heard/attended 32 social
activities organised for LGBTIQQ/MSM/WSW. Mean participants were 25 and
maximum was 150 participants. The following categories of events took place: party
with alcoholic drinks; solemn prayer meetings; HIV/STIs health meetings; support
meetings for MSM LHIV; attending a court hearing; attending a seminar on
discrimination/stigma; attending a conference on sexuality, orientation, gender and
identity (SOGI); attending rights-based conferences; same sex wedding and;
leadership/organisation development.

11 parties with alcoholic drinks; 3 solemn prayer meetings including burials; 2
HIV/STIs meetings; 1 support meeting for MSM LHIV; 1 court hearing attendance; 3
attendances at seminars on discrimination/stigma; 1 attendance at a SOGI-related
conference; 6 attendances at a rights-based conference; 2 attendances at same sex
wedding; 2 attendances at a leadership/organisation development seminar.

Even as we strive to promote universal anti-HIV systems, the very systemic nature
and the way we do programmes may be to our disadvantage. We need to increase
sensitivity, competence and "health-vigilance" if we are to improve the health of the
gay community.

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