In the generalized epidemics of HIV in southern Sub-Saharan Africa, men who have sex with men have been largely excluded from HIV surveillance and research. Epidemiologic data for MSM in southern Africa are among the sparsest globally, and HIV risk among these men has yet to be characterized in the majority of countries.
A cross-sectional anonymous probe of 537 men recruited with non-probability sampling among men who reported ever having had sex with another man in Malawi, Namibia, and Botswana using a structured survey instrument and HIV screening with the OraQuick(c) rapid test kit.
The HIV prevalence among those between the ages of 18 and 23 was 8.3% (20/241); 20.0% (42/210) among those 24-29; and 35.7% (30/84) among those older than 30 for an overall prevalence of 17.4% (95% CI 14.4-20.8). In multivariate logistic regressions, being older than 25 (aOR 4.0, 95% CI 2.0-8.0), and not always wearing condoms during sex (aOR 2.6, 95% CI 1.3-4.9) were significantly associated with being HIV-positive. Sexual concurrency was common with 16.6% having ongoing concurrent stable relationships with a man and a woman and 53.7% had both male and female sexual partners in proceeding 6 months. Unprotected anal intercourse was common and the use of petroleum-based lubricants was also common when using condoms. Human rights abuses, including blackmail and denial of housing and health care was prevalent with 42.1% (222/527) reporting at least one abuse.
MSM are a high-risk group for HIV infection and human rights abuses in Malawi, Namibia, and Botswana. Concurrency of sexual partnerships with partners of both genders may play important roles in HIV spread in these populations. Further epidemiologic and evaluative research is needed to assess the contribution of MSM to southern Africa's HIV epidemics and how best to mitigate this. These countries should initiate and adequately fund evidence-based and targeted HIV prevention programs for MSM.
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"A number of studies have documented that MSM who are in concurrent sexual relationships with men and women are exposed to sexual practices that expose them to HIV infection such as inconsistent condom use due to the long term attachments and intimacy with concurrent sexual partners [23, 27] . Moreover , Baral et al. documented that bi-sexual men were less likely to use condoms with both committed and casual female sexual partners . These HIV risky sexual practices may have a role to play in influencing higher willingness to take PrEP among bi-sexual MSM. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Background:
The MSM population in Kenya contributes to 15% of HIV incidence. This calls for innovative HIV prevention interventions. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) has been efficacious in preventing HIV among MSM in trials. There is limited data on the willingness to take daily oral PrEP in sub-Sahara Africa. PrEP has not been approved for routine use in most countries globally. This study aimed to document the willingness to take PrEP and barriers to uptake and adherence to PrEP in Kenya. The findings will inform the design of a PrEP delivery program as part of the routine HIV combination prevention.
Eighty MSM were recruited in 2 Counties in December 2013. Quantitative data on sexual behaviour and willingness to take PrEP were collected using semi-structured interviews and analysed using SPSS. Qualitative data on knowledge of PrEP, motivators and barriers to uptake and adherence to PrEP were collected using in-depth interviews and FGDs and analysed using Nvivo. Analysis of data in willingness to take PrEP was conducted on the HIV negative participants (n = 55).
83% of MSM were willing to take daily oral HIV PrEP. Willingness to take PrEP was higher among the bi-sexual and younger men. Motivators for taking PrEP were the need to stay HIV negative and to protect their partners. History of poor medication adherence, fear of side effects and HIV stigma were identified as potential barriers to adherence. Participants were willing to buy PrEP at a subsidized price.
There is willingness to take PrEP among MSM in Kenya and there is need to invest in targeted education and messaging on PrEP to enhance adherence, proper use and reduce stigma in the general population and among policy makers.
"Men who have sex with men and women (MSMW) represent an important subgroup of MSM. Studies among MSM in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) have reported that approximately half of MSM had sex with both men and women in a predetermined period before each survey, being 12 months: 74.1 % in Senegal  46.2 % in Cameroon , 46.4 % in Swaziland , 56.2 % in Cote d'Ivoire  and 6 months: 60.9 % in South Africa , 46.7 % in Malawi , 37.6 % in Botswana , 50.7 % in Namibia  and past 2 months: 48.1 % in Nigeria . Yet, most studies of MSM in SSA fail to distinguish between men who have sex only with men (MSMO) and men who have sex with men and women in their analysis of HIV risks. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Using respondent-driven sampling (RDS), an integrated biological behavioral survey among men that have sex with men (MSM) enrolled 457 participants in Maputo [63.0 % were MSM who had sex with women (MSMW)], 538 in Beira (36.2 % MSMW) and 330 in Nampula-Nacala (54.8 % MSMW) in 2011. Analysis suggests that MSM who have sex only with men (MSMO) had increased odds of having HIV (aOR 2.7) compared to MSMW. HIV among MSMO associated with age, self-reported STI (aOR 4.2), having a single male anal partner (aOR 3.8) and having transactional sex with a man (aOR 3.5) in the past year. Among MSMW, HIV associated with age, lower education (aOR 32.5), being uncircumcised (aOR 3.1) and having transactional sex with a woman (aOR 6.0) in the past year. Findings confirm that MSMO and MSMW have distinct HIV risks in Mozambique; HIV programs for MSM in Southern Africa should take such differences into consideration.
No preview · Article · Apr 2016 · AIDS and Behavior
"titutional Review Board of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the Research Ethics Committee of the University of Cape Town, the University of Namibia Institutional Review Board, and the Ministry of Health of Botswana. In Malawi, the local CBO, CEDEP, employed a previously-described internal review mechanism and approved the study.  Limitations"
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: In 1994, South Africa approved a constitution providing freedom from discrimination based on sexual orientation. Other Southern African countries, including Botswana, Malawi, and Namibia, criminalize same-sex behavior. Men who have sex with men (MSM) have been shown to experience high levels of stigma and discrimination, increasing their vulnerability to negative health and other outcomes. This paper examines the relationship between criminalization of same-sex behavior and experiences of human rights abuses by MSM. It compares the extent to which MSM in peri-urban Cape Town experience human rights abuses with that of MSM in Gaborone, Botswana; Blantyre and Lilongwe, Malawi; and Windhoek, Namibia. In 2008, 737 MSM participated in a cross-sectional study using a structured survey collecting data regarding demographics, human rights, HIV status, and risk behavior. Participants accrued in each site were compared using bivariate and multivariate logistic regression. Encouragingly, the results indicate MSM in Cape Town were more likely to disclose their sexual orientation to family or healthcare workers and less likely to be blackmailed or feel afraid in their communities than MSM in Botswana, Malawi, or Namibia. However, South African MSM were not statistically significantly less likely experience a human rights abuse than their peers in cities in other study countries, showing that while legal protections may reduce experiences of certain abuses, legislative changes alone are insufficient for protecting MSM. A comprehensive approach with interventions at multiple levels in multiple sectors is needed to create the legal and social change necessary to address attitudes, discrimination, and violence affecting MSM.