HIV messages should include MSM

Published: July 2, 2013

A survey of 1 700 South African men from the Eastern Cape and  KwaZulu-Natal revealed that one in 10 men has been sexually assaulted by another man, while about one in 20 report having consensual sexual contact with other men – many who are at the same time in sexual relationships with women, according to research.

The results are part of a survey of adult South African men published in the journalPLOS Medicine.
According to researchers these findings highlight the need for HIV prevention messages regarding men who have sex with men in South Africa to be mainstreamed with prevention messages for the general population. It also means that sexual health interventions and HIV prevention interventions for South African men should explicitly address male-on-male sexual violence.

The researchers, led by Rachel Jewkes from the South African Medical Research Council, reached these conclusions by conducting a survey involving 1 700 adult men from randomly selected households in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. The survey used technology that created a completely private and anonymous environment and included questions about the respondents’ lifetime history of same-sex experiences.
The authors found that 92 (5.4 percent of participants) reported consensual sexual activity (such as anal or oral sex or masturbation) with another man at some time during their life; 9.6 percent (162 men) reported that they had been forced to have sex with another man and three percent reported that they had perpetrated sexual violence against another man.

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