ICASA 2017: Mobilizing Men Who Have Sex with Men to Improve Access to HIV Prevention, Testing and Treatment in Africa

Dr. Frank Lule, WHO, African Regional Office; Mr. Thatayotlhe Molefe, Men for Health, Botswana; Dr. Hugues Lago, WHO African Regional Office; & Mr. Jeffery Walimbwa, ISHTAR MSM, Kenya

The International Conference on AIDS & STIs in Africa (ICASA) is the largest AIDS conference in Africa. This year’s theme, “Africa: Ending AIDS-delivering differently” emphasizes that Human rights are a key priority in the context of strengthening the application of science based evidence. In the spirit of delivering differently, the MSMGF and WHO hosted a satellite session showcasing successful community-led approaches for service delivery for gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men.

Jeffery Walimbwa discussed the importance of a comprehensive approach to fulfilling sexual health needs of men who have sex with men that includes attention to service delivery, community development, advocacy, and research.

Thatayotlhe Molefe emphasized the need for safe, enabling spaces that welcome men who have sex with men, as well as the need for comprehensive services including mental health services.

After the presentations, the speakers joined a panel discussion with Berry Nibogora from AMSHeR, Gavin Reid from Global Fund, Dr. Sonya Arreola from MSMGF. During the panel discussion, all agreed that it is imperative that MSM communities lead and participate in all aspects of health and rights delivery for MSM in Africa.

About MSMGF:

MSMGF is an expanding network of advocates and other experts in sexual health, LGBT/human rights, research, and policy, working to ensure an effective response to HIV among gay men and other men who have sex with men. We are directly linked with more than 120 community-based organizations, across 62 countries.