International AIDS Society


Men who have sex with men and behaviours adopted to counter the risk of HIV infection in Bamako (Mali)

C. Broqua

Background: This study aims to understand the dynamics of social and sexual relationships between MSM in Bamako and the way these men manage the risk of HIV infection.

Methods: Participant observation beginning in June 2003, ending in June 2006, among MSM in Bamako.

Results: As in most West African countries, MSM exist in Mali. But homosexual practices are for the most part covert, and only few MSM consider and publicly identify themselves as homosexual. Furthermore, often MSM practice sexual intercourse with women, and many have a regular and official female partner. Most of those who are still single plan to marry and have children. Most MSM have a steady partner and one or several occasional partners, regular or not. Very often, there are monetary transactions, mainly from the insertive to the receptive partner. Many MSM are confronted with stigmatisation and adopt strategies to avoid discrimination, however physical violence is rare. Despite the fact that HIV transmission risks in the context of sex between men are well known, sexual intercourse often occurs without preventive measures, including anal sex. Many MSM don’t use condoms with their steady partner, although generally HIV testing is rarely done. The strategies most commonly considered effective against AIDS are fidelity and the reduction of the number of partners.

Conclusions: Prevention efforts must be upscaled among MSM in Mali. But these actions must take into account the covert nature of homosexual practices. Therefore, it may be more effective to develop prevention messages and materials that discuss the risks related to sex between men amongst other HIV risk behaviours. The messages should emphasise that fidelity as a precautionary measure in itself is not an effective strategy against HIV infection. Moreover campaigns to change homonegative attitudes in order to reduce social stigmatisation of MSM are also necessary.

AIDS 2006 - XVI International AIDS Conference
Abstract no. CDD0376

Suggested Citation
" C. Broqua Men who have sex with men and behaviours adopted to counter the risk of HIV infection in Bamako (Mali). : AIDS 2006 - XVI International AIDS Conference: Abstract no. CDD0376"