Men who have Sex with men and HIV in the Anglophone Caribbean: A situation review

Published: March 1, 2011

Men who have sex with men (MSM)1 in the Anglophone countries of the Caribbean2 comprise a disproportionate share of the HIV epidemic (Baral et al. 2007; Cáceres et al. 2008a). Although only 4 of the 12 Anglophone Caribbean countries publicly collect HIV prevalence data among MSM, in 3 of these 4 countries (Jamaica, Guyana, and Trinidad and Tobago) researchers report an HIV prevalence of more than 20 percent among MSM (Joint U.N. Programme on HIV/AIDS [UNAIDS] 2008). This data clearly classifies MSM in the Anglophone Caribbean as a most-at-risk population (MARP) for HIV.

Good clinical and public health practice in HIV epidemics recommends channeling resources toward the prevention of infections and illness among MARPs by promoting health, reducing risk, and increasing access to—and utilization of—services. Despite the known extent of HIV among MSM in the Anglophone Caribbean, however, HIV interventions geared toward MSM remain severely underfunded. Foreign assistance and international donors—particularly the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM)—provide some funding for programs for MARPs, but the programs that exist do not offer comprehensive services, only bits and pieces (e.g., providing condoms and information, education, and communication materials separately).

A notable lack of human rights protection in the Anglophone Caribbean also impedes efforts to improve the health of MSM (Waters forthcoming). This technical brief provides basic information about HIV programming for MSM in the Anglophone Carib-bean and reviews programming opportunities and resources for regional and local organizations involved in the response to HIV, nongovernmental organizations, U.S. Agency for International Development Mission staff, U.S. Government-funded health program planners and implementers, and other stakeholders including govern-ments and other international donors and agencies.

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