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International News

Jamaica: Gay Men in Hiding, Avoiding Health Care Because of Stigma, Survey Suggests

March 13, 2009

Legal and social discrimination against men who have sex with men (MSM) are major barriers to their accessing health care, according to a 2008 Ministry of Health-commissioned survey. Among MSM surveyed, 31.8 percent had HIV, 8.5 percent had chlamydia, 5.5 percent had syphilis, and 2.5 percent had gonorrhea.

Even with the high rate of STDS, MSM are reluctant to go to health care providers, fearing discrimination, said an MSM peer educator who requested anonymity. Despite calls to decriminalize sodomy, Jamaica's government insists on retaining the law against it. "Our main problem is that based on the law, we have problems interacting with each other," said the educator. "There are no safe places."

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Jamaica and HIV/AIDS

Reader Comments:

Comment by: Edgar (11693 NYC) Thu., Mar. 19, 2009 at 9:22 am EDT
It's so depressing. seen the sex websites, all this MSM jamaicans looking for sex. They don't care if it's bareback or anything goes. It's a black people culture when a man is a man who has sex only with women, and there is not the case.
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Comment by: Del Martinis (Houston, TX 77003) Wed., Mar. 18, 2009 at 11:55 pm EDT
This sad island is living in it's own self created hell. No one I know cares to travel near there! They have much in common with Iran.
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