HIV research conducted in Soweto among men who have sex with men (MSM) found that one in three gay-identified men are HIV-positive.
Adam (not his real name) – a 38-year-old self-identified gay Sowetan – says most MSM and gay men in the township are aware of the high incidence of HIV, and that “everyone” knows about safer sex and condoms. Still, many MSM and gay men find it difficult to negotiate safer sex; and there is concern about the ‘after-nine’ MSM who potentially put their unsuspecting partners, wives and other people at risk.
“I think the problem with men who sleep with men is that sometimes we feel sexual and emotional attraction for another man for the first time … we don’t even have the time, the conscience or the thought to use protection – and as a result the disease is spread. If people are open about it, and they talk about it – even if you are ‘gay’ or ‘not gay’ – you can use condoms with your wife or your girlfriend or anyone else.”
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