Gay Men Worldwide Cannot Access Basic HIV Testing and Services
Early findings from a worldwide survey indicate that fewer than half of homosexual men worldwide have access to the most basic HIV prevention and services. Conducted by the Global Forum on MSM (men who have sex with men) & HIV (MSMGF) in collaboration with Dr. Patrick Wilson, assistant professor at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, the survey was conducted online and translated into Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish with more than 5,000 participants.
The data were reported by the African news service The Mail and Guardian, and underscores the importance of universal access to HIV prevention and treatment, a key theme of this year’s World AIDS Day.
Large percentages of men who have sex with men reported that it was difficult or impossible to access HIV treatment (70%), HIV education materials (66%) and HIV testing (57%). Only 39 percent of respondents reported easy access to free condoms and barely one in four reported easy access to free lubricant. A full 25 percent said free lubricant was completely unavailable.
Dr. Wilson’s work focuses on research related to HIV risk and prevention, ethnicity, and sexuality among men who have sex with men (MSM) in the United States. The MSMGF and Dr. Wilson expect to have the full analysis and release a comprehensive report in early 2011.