Stigma and discrimination experiences of HIV-positive men who have sex with men in Cape Town, South Africa

SOURCE: AIDS Care
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2008
TITLE AUTHOR(S): A.Cloete, L.C.Simbayi, S.C.Kalichman, A.Strebel, N.Henda
KEYWORDS: CAPE TOWN, DISCRIMINATION, HIV/AIDS, HOMOSEXUALITY, MEN, RISK BEHAVIOUR, SEXUAL BEHAVIOUR, STIGMATISATION
DEPARTMENT: Social Aspects of Public Health (SAPH)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 5315

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Abstract

Since the primary mode of HIV transmission in sub-Saharan Africa is heterosexual, research focusing on the sexual behaviour of men who have sex with men (MSM) is scant. Currently it is unknown how many people living with HIV in South Africa are MSM and there is even less known about the stigmatisation and discrimination of HIV-positive MSM. The current study examined the stigma and discrimination experiences of MSM living with HIV/AIDS in South Africa. Anonymous venue-based surveys were collected from 92 HIV-positive MSM and 330 HIV-positive men who only reported sex with women (MSW). Internalised stigma was high among all HIVpositive men who took part in the survey, with 56% of men reporting that they concealed their HIV status from others. HIV-positive MSM reported experiencing greater social isolation and discrimination resulting from being HIV-positive, including loss of housing or employment due to their HIV status, however these differences were not significant. Mental health interventions, as well as structural changes for protection against discrimination, are needed for HIV-positive South African MSM.