Support the access to information on STI/HIV/AIDS for the men who have sexual relations with other men (MSM) through the opening of a center of prevention and care of STI/HIV/AIDS adapted to the realities and needs of the MSM in the town of Douala, Cameroon
Y.F. Roger Yves, C. Tchanté, S. Maliedji Mbeya, D. Makong, T. Pouani
Alternatives Cameroon, Douala, Cameroon
Issues: In Cameroon the law penalizes sexual intercourse between same sex people. There is neither civil organization nor public policy for prevention and care of STI and HIV aimed towards MSM. That’s why Alternative-Cameroun association opened in 2008 the “Access Centre”, a center for prevention and care for MSM.
Description: From the beginning it was necessary to keep “Access Centre” alive by setting up activities to support information access for MSM in the city. In this framework, the following activities were initiated: semi-monthly educational talks, Internet permanencies at “Access Centre” on cruising sites attended by MSM, prevention permanencies in the Centre, started last year, aiming better information for the MSM meet during actions out of the Centre. These activities increased the “Access Centre” average visit rates per month, which increased from 210 in 2008 to 325 in 2009. We sensitize during these activities 615 MSM, distribute 4701 condoms and 5659 lubricating gel doses; 126 MSM went through early detection during this year for an active file of 50 MSM taken care of for HIV infection.
Lessons learned and next steps: Our activities increased visit rates by MSM reinforce our belief that this population needs some specific information and a place for free expression and relaxation in this particularly hostile context for MSM. The MSM which attend the Centre are now more informed about the HIV risks and more concerned about global sexual health. We intend to reinforce some of these activities in 2010 address the increasing needs of both the MSM and the active file in the “Access Centre” and the situation will become better if some rights of MSM are respected.