Black Looks - Including an African LGBTIQ+ Archive

HIV/AIDS, Queer Politics

Providing inclusive HIV prevention

‘How do you convince me to come out and say I am a homosexual yet the same government that is asking me to do this criminalizes what I am engaged in? I would rather they offered the services without going into the business of knowing who we are and trying to count us.’

Kenya’s HIV prevention programme wants to incorporate men who have sex with men (MSM). However getting MSM to identify themselves is difficult and why is this necessary? Isnt the point to offer services to whoever needs them without them having to reveal their sexual preferences. Ultimately the only way to really provide inclusive HIV prevention services is to decriminalise homosexuality

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  1. @ Sokari, there are MSM-specific HIV prevention and treatment regimes. Hence, it is necessary to identify a person’s pattern of sexual activity in order to offer effective HIV treatment or prevention advice. MSMs who are sexually receptive for example, especially if they are already HIV positive, are susceptible to becoming infected with the Human papilloma virus, which in females could lead to cervical cancer if not treated early enough, but in males could lead to anal cancer. Importantly, advice could be provided regarding the recognition of the early symptoms of infection, since the early treatment of the condition is key to its cure. But advice can only be given if the provider of the advice is aware of the patient’s sexual proclivity. There are issues too that are MSM-specific when providing information and advice about safe-sex practices.

    It would therefore be impossible to organise a successful HIV prevention programme unless homosexuality itself is decriminalised and more importantly, de stigmatised, such that individuals are treated equally and without discrimination, regardless of their sexual orientation. Even if homosexuality was decriminalised in those countries of Africa where homosexual acts are still illegal, the stigma would be harder to get rid of. It is this that I see as the real problem and the reason why I cannot dare to be optimistic the homosexual Africans will be voluntarily declaring their sexual orientation to their doctors any time soon. And unfortunately, this is one loophole that the human immunodeficiency virus will continue to exploit..
    .-= anengiyefa´s last blog ..And now, the weather.. =-.

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    anengiyefa@ Hmm my point exactly – Thanks for your regular thoughtful comments and I wish you a Happy New Year and any other celebrations you wish to engage with 🙂