Kenya's Ishtar MSM Launches Lube Access Campaign

Published: August 27, 2010

HIV and AIDS continue to impact Men who have sex with Men [MSM] disproportionally in Kenya. However, there have been minimal prevention interventions
targeting this group. According to the Modes of Transmission Study (MOT, 2008) MSM
and IDU’s, hitherto overlooked populations in Kenya, maybe contributing a significant
percentage of new infections. The data from these communities still remains incomplete,
and when the national model (MOT) indicated that MSM and IDUs combined account
for about 15% of new infections, the model for Nairobi placed these groups contribution
to at 26% and in Mombasa, it was 31% almost one third of new infections.

Many African gay men and other men who have sex with men don’t have regular access
to condom-compatible lubricants. Sometimes these men end up using nothing, or they use
products like butter, Vaseline and antibiotic creams which we know are not appropriate.
Thankfully, Kenya’s Ishtar MSM is addressing this critical situation and making condomcompatible,
water-based lubricants available to the people they serve – primarily gay
men, bisexual men and other MSM, transgendered individuals and sex workers –
considered to be most-at-risk for acquiring HIV. The use of lubes compatible with
condoms is an important risk-reduction tool for rectal transmission of HIV and we
applaud these efforts (Jim Pickett,Chair, International Rectal Microbicide Advocates)

Studies have also documented multiple sex partners among MSM: Dr. Harriet Birungi of
the Population Council shared findings from Nairobi in which 18 percent of respondents
reported two or more sexual partners in the past week and 47 percent within the past
month. Lack of knowledge about risk behaviors and methods of protection also places
MSM at risk of HIV. The Council’s Nairobi study found that only 26 percent respondents
had correct knowledge of water-based lubricants. Instead, 84 percent reported use of
petroleum jelly, which can cause condom breakage and damage to rectal tissue,
increasing risk of HIV acquisition during anal sex.

Full article available below –

Leave a Reply