Tuesday, May 24, 2011

South Africa: Dept. of Health Admits MSM Neglected

via Mambaonline

The Minister of Health has admitted that not enough has been done to reach men who have sex with men (MSM) in South Africa when it comes to HIV.

Speaking at the opening of the Top2Btm symposium in Cape Town, Dr. Yogan Pillay, Chief Director of Strategic Planning at the National Department of Health, emphasised the need for an HIV strategy that is “much more nuanced and targeted”.

Minister of heath Aaron Motsoaledi [pictured] was due to open the three day symposium dedicated to the sexual health of men who have sex with men, but was unable to attend and sent Pillay in his stead.

Reading the Minister’s speech, Pillay said: “Even though the Strategic Plan mentions men who have sex with men, we certainly haven’t done enough to protect this group”.

Recent studies have indicated that the prevalence of HIV is much higher among MSM than the general population. “We do not know how the epidemic affects MSM nationally as we only have small regional studies to rely on at this point,” Pillay said, emphasising the need for more data.

Read the rest.

[If an item is not written by an IRMA member, it should not be construed that IRMA has taken a position on the article's content, whether in support or in opposition.]

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