Discrimination, Stigma Against MSM Hindering HIV/AIDS Programs in Senegal, Globe and Mail Reports
June 4, 2008
The Globe and Mail on Tuesday examined how "state-sponsored" discrimination and stigma against men who have sex in men in Senegal has "shattered" HIV/AIDS programs aimed at the high-risk group. According to studies conducted by researchers at a university in the capital of Dakar in conjunction with local MSM , about 20% of Senegalese MSM are HIV-positive, compared with 0.7% of the general population. In addition, about 80% of MSM in the country have female partners.
Ndella Diakhate, a senior executive of the country's national AIDS council, said MSM are "our people and they have the right to ... be protected from HIV." She added, "They have to be protected, for themselves and because they can be a route of transmission to the rest of [the] population." She noted that the events of the past few months are regrettable but that they likely will pass and that work will resume "without enormous consequences." Ceri said, "I don't see [the situation] improving because after all the work we have done, there is more homophobia than ever." He added that Senegalese society "will perhaps accept for [MSM] to fight HIV, but never accept for [MSM] to fight for [MSM's] human rights, or even recognize" MSM (Nolen, Globe and Mail, 6/3).
This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.