Men who have sex with men and AIDS prevention in Bamako (Mali)
Background : The aim of that research is to understand logics of social and sexual relationships between men who have sex with men in Bamako (Mali) and the way these men are dealing with HIV risks.
Methods : One year long participant observation (june 2003 - june 2004) and biographical interviews with a dozen men who have sex with men in Bamako (Mali).
Results : As in most west african countries, men who have sex with men exist in Mali. But contrary to other capitals in that region, there are no public venues where men who have sex with men can encounter, except a few bars. Only a part of men who have sex with men in Bamako frequent these venues, also frequented by exclusive heterosexuals, some of wich are homophobes. Most generally, homosexuality is clandestine, and only a few men who have sex with men consider and publicly present themselves as homosexuals. Most men who have sex with men also have sexual intercourses with women, and a lot have a regular and official feminine partner. Even some of the exclusive homosexuals plan to marry and to have children, as prescribed by social norms in Mali. HIV transmission risks in the context of sex between men are mostly unknown, and sexual intercourses often occur unsafely, even when sodomy is practiced, that is to say not rarely.
Conclusions : Prevention efforts must be leaded among men who have sex with men in Mali. But these actions must take into account the context of homosexual intercourses that are mostly clandestines. As public venues where some men who have sex with men meet are also frequented by exclusive heterosexual who can be homophobes, there are no possibility to target men who have sex with men only. As a consequence, il would be better to conceive prevention messages and materials that include the risks related to sex between men among other HIV risks. That would be also necessary to fight against homophobia and social stigmatization of men who have sex with men.
The XV International AIDS Conference
" C Broqua ,
Men who have sex with men and AIDS prevention in Bamako (Mali).
The XV International AIDS Conference: