Study Looks into the Obstacles Gay Men Face in Getting Help with HIV/AIDS
For a third of MSM (men who have sex with men) worldwide, accessing condoms, lubricant, HIV tests and HIV treatment is easily accessible. For the rest, well, it’s not so easy.
And a new study suggests the reasons for that percentage include homophobia, cultural competency and comfort with service providers, among other items.
This is but one of the findings of a global survey conducted over last summer by the Global Forum on MSM & HIV (MSMGF). Stretching across 165 countries, the multi-lingual survey asked 5,779 gay men and other men who have sex with men about their access to treatment and preventative measures, as well as hygienic items. On top of the online survey, MSMGF shook hands with African Men for Sexual Health and Rights, which allowed for focused discussions groups to take place among 71 MSM across five cities in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria.
The results were less than encouraging for MSMGF, which is a network of AIDS organizations, MSM networks and advocates that corroborate on ways to provide (and continue providing) effective HIV resources tailored to the needs of gay and other MSM.
"Such poor levels of access at the global level are unacceptable," said George Ayala, executive director of the MSMGF. "Even in upper to middle-income countries, MSM still have extremely low access to services."
Of men who participated in the online survey, only 35 percent reported that condoms were easily accessible, 21 percent reported easy access to lubricant, 36 percent reported easy access to HIV testing, and 42 percent reported easy access to HIV treatment.