Wednesday, August 18, 2010

No single formula for HIV risk

via Plus News

In southern Africa, prevention campaigns highlighting the HIV risks of having more than one partner at the same time have largely targeted heterosexuals and ignored the fact that men who have sex with men also have multiple partners.

"Men who have sex with men" (MSM) describes men who have reported ever having had sex with another man, but who may not necessarily identify themselves as homosexual, or "gay".

In one of the first studies to investigate multiple concurrent partnerships (MCPs) among African MSM, just over half of the 537 men surveyed in Malawi, Namibia and Botswana reported that they had had sex with both men and women in the last six months, and about a third of these men reported that the relationships had been concurrent. MCPs have been identified as a main driver of the HIV epidemic in southern Africa.

Presented at the annual meeting of the African Network for Strategic Communication in Health and Development (AfriComNet) in Johannesburg, the study also found that about a third of the men surveyed had a wife or long-term girlfriend. 

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