Malawi: New Data Show Greater Risk of AIDS Among Gay Men
August 31, 2009
A recent study finds Malawian men who have sex with men (MSM) are at greater risk for HIV/AIDS, yet prevention initiatives fail to target them.
Twenty-six percent of those who reported always using a condom were HIV-positive; 14 percent who sometimes used condoms were infected; and 14 percent of those who never use condoms were HIV-positive.
Nearly half the respondents had never accessed MSM prevention services, while roughly 18 percent were "afraid to seek health services" and 3.5 percent had been denied health care. Four percent had been raped.
Homosexuality in Malawi is criminalized, and "the prevalence of HIV is high among MSM because there is no intervention to specifically address this group," said study co-author Gift Trapence of the Center for the Development of People. Other organizations involved in the study included the College of Medicine at the University of Malawi-Zomba; the New York-based Open Society Institute; and the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in Baltimore, Md.
Inter Press Service
08.18.2009; Christi Van Der Westhuizen