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International News

South Africa: Neglected Group Has HIV/AIDS Support

March 2, 2009

Soweto's Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital (CHBH) on Thursday launched an HIV/AIDS program for men who have not yet received services through the national HIV treatment roll-out, in particular, men who have sex with men (MSM). The new program, Health4Men, operates a clinic in Cape Town, and another is being established at Woodstock Hospital in partnership with the Western Cape Department of Health. Services will include free HIV testing, CD4 count tests, STD treatment, and psychosocial support.

Many MSM also have sex with women and do not self-identify as gay, which is why the program will specifically target MSM rather than the gay community, said James McIntyre, executive director of CHBH's Perinatal HIV Research Unit (PHRU), the unit that created Health4Men. Dr. Kevin Rebe will lead the new program.

"Men, and in particular [MSM], have been neglected in most of the South African programs in the past that have focused on the dominant heterosexual and female HIV epidemic," McIntyre said. "PHRU has been working in this field since 2003, and results from a recent survey conducted in Soweto in collaboration with the University of San Francisco found that about 21 percent of [MSM] were HIV-positive. About 44 percent said they had also had sex with women, and 41 percent reported unprotected anal intercourse among their last five partners."

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Adapted from:
Business Day (South Africa)
02.27.2009; Linda Ensor


  
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
 
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