International AIDS Society


Men who have sex with men in Burkina Faso, Senegal, and The Gambia: The multi-country HIV/AIDS program approach

C Niang1, A Moreau2, K Kostermans3, H Binswanger3, C Compaore4, M Diagne1, P Tapsoba5, E Weiss6
1University Cheilh Anta Diop, Dakar, Senegal; 2Population Council's Horizons Program, Dakar, Senegal; 3World Bank, Washington DC, United States; 4Population Council - Burkina Faso, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso; 5Population Council's Horizons Program, Accra, Ghana; 6International Center for Research on Women - Horizons Program, Washington DC, Senegal

Background: In response to the devastating AIDS epidemic in Africa, the World Bank launched the Multi-Country HIV/AIDS Program (MAP) for the region. National HIV/AIDS programs have not been adequate to the epidemic's challenges for various reasons, including that vulnerable groups have been inadequately or inappropriately targeted. One vulnerable group largely overlooked in Africa is men who have sex with men (MSM). Although the vast majority of HIV/AIDS transmission in Africa occurs heterosexually, it is unclear how much homosexuality contributes to transmission. The MAP objective was to take initial steps in addressing the spread of HIV/AIDS among MSM.
Methods: Burkina Faso, Senegal and the Gambia were the geographic focus of MAP. A consultant was recruited to: (a) assess deficits in HIV/AIDS knowledge among MSM; (b) assess sensitivity to MSM in Volunteer Counseling and Testing (VCT); (c) identify projects and programs addressing MSM, and analyze their strategies and lessons for possible wider applicability; (d) identify experts, institutions, and organizations working on MSM in the selected countries or internationally; and (e) encourage organizations and institutions working on "gender" issues in HIV/AIDS to include a MSM focus.
Results: This paper summarizes issues involved in reaching MSM, and recommends strategies for meeting the needs of this target group in the three countries. The paper outlines knowledge gaps about HIV/AIDS and VCT services among MSM, and provides suggestions on how to address these problems. The paper also describes the main features and lessons learned from prevention and treatment programs serving MSM, and lists experts and institutions in the public and private sectors working or interested in the target group.
Conclusions: MAP increased access to HIV/AIDS prevention, care, support, and treatment programs with vulnerable and at risk groups, especially MSM and boys and men who have sex with men in exchange for money or gifts.

The XV International AIDS Conference
Abstract no. WePeC6156

Suggested Citation
" C Niang , , et al. Men who have sex with men in Burkina Faso, Senegal, and The Gambia: The multi-country HIV/AIDS program approach. Poster Exhibition: The XV International AIDS Conference: Abstract no. WePeC6156"