Health authorities seem to suggest that ” stigma and discrimination” are fundamental to the intractable nature of HIV epidemics among Men who have Sex with Men (MSM).
While the authorities are seeking to suppress actions by institutions such as the church which they (health authorities) deem are responsible for stigma and discrimination MSM are having sex parties.
AIDS Behav. 2011 Feb;15(2):305-18. doi: 10.1007/s10461-010-9809-6.
Sex parties among urban MSM: an emerging culture and HIV risk environment.
Mimiaga MJ1, Reisner SL, Bland SE, Driscoll MA, Cranston K, Isenberg D, VanDerwarker R, Mayer KH.
Private sex parties are an emerging risk environment for HIV among men who have sex with men (MSM). In 2009, 103 participants who reported attending at least one sex party in Massachusetts in the prior 12 months completed an in-depth, interviewer-administered quantitative assessment. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were conducted to examine associations with having engaged in one or more serodiscordant unprotected anal sex (SDUAS) acts at the most recent sex party attended. Nearly one-third (32%) of the sample reported engaging in SDUAS at the most recent sex party attended. Adjusting for age, race/ethnicity, and educational attainment, variables associated with an increased odds of engaging in SDUAS at the most recent sex party were: total number of unprotected anal receptive sex acts at sex parties in the past 12 months, self-perception of being at-risk for transmitting or acquiring HIV, and sexual sensation seeking. Examined in the same model, if condoms were provided/available at the most recent sex party attended, participants were at a decreased odds of engaging in SDUAS at that sex party. The majority (80%) expressed an interest in HIV prevention activities for MSM who attend sex parties. HIV prevention interventions are needed to reach MSM who attend sex parties and should take into account individual and contextual factors that may contribute to sexual risk. Environmental factors in the sex party setting, in particular the presence and availability of condoms, may potentially mitigate individual-level factors such as unprotected anal sex.
PANCAP Says Stigma And Discrimination Driving HIV In The Caribbean
Published: Thursday May 29, 2014 | 2:51 pm
GEORGETOWN,Guyana, CMC – The Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIVand AIDS(PANCAP) Wednesday said the testimony of Professor BrendanBain in a highly publicised case in Belize two years ago was“not consistent with the stated goals of PANCAP to reduce stigma and eliminate discrimination".
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, CMC – The Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP) Wednesday said the testimony of Professor Brendan Bain in a highly publicised case in Belize two years ago was “not consistent with the stated goals of PANCAP to reduce stigma and eliminate discrimination”.
“In fact, it is in dissonance with PANCAP’s ongoing work to remove discriminatory laws and affirm human rights,” PANCAP said in a statement.
Professor Bain was fired as director of the Regional Coordinating Unit of the Caribbean HIV/Training (CHART) Network, a move that critics say showed that the University of the West Indies had bowed to pressure from gay rights groups across the region.
Since then, supporters of the academic, one of the region’s leading authorities on the HIV epidemic in the Caribbean and one of the pioneers in clinical infectious disease have been staging silent protests outside the gates of the UWI saying the dismissal was an attempt at curtailing academic freedom.
PANCAP said that although the Partnership is inclusive and members are free to have their individual views and beliefs, it “is of the view that, on principle, Professor Bain’s action was not compatible with his leadership position.
“In adopting an active position of opposing the decriminalization of anal sex between two consenting male adults in private, Professor Bain has undermined the public health and human rights goals of PANCAP.”
PANCAP said that this view communicated to Professor Bain during the 15th meeting of the Priority Areas Coordinating Committee (PACC), a technical committee of the PANCAP Executive Board, held on January 15 this year.
“Professor Bain subsequently resigned as a member of the PACC on 14 March 2014. PANCAP recognises Professor Bain’s significant contribution to the HIV response in the Caribbean including treatment and training and to the work of the Partnership and its governance bodies.”
But PANCAP said that the region is at a critical point where further progress towards an AIDS-free Caribbean is premised on mobilising a strong and coordinated multi-sectoral effort to remove the legal, social and cultural obstacles that prevent universal access to a wide range of comprehensive and high quality health services.
It said currently, 11 Caribbean Community (CARICOM) states have laws which criminalize consensual same-sex relationships between adults in private.
“The Global Commission on HIV and the Law has found that countries which criminalize same-sex sexual activity have higher HIV prevalence rates among men who have sex with men (MSM) than countries that do not; that criminalizing HIV transmission harms HIV prevention and treatment; and that guaranteeing access to reproductive health services can help reduce HIV risk”.
It said specific to the Caribbean, stigma is named as the main reason for the lack of attention to marginalised groups in the prevention efforts, and their general lack of access to HIV-related services, and stigmatising and discriminatory legal and policy measures are common in the regional legal systems.
PANCAP said a 2012 Lancet Study estimates MSM prevalence in the Caribbean to be the highest in the world at 25.4 per cent as compared to one per cent n the general population.
“The UNAIDS Modes of Transmission (MOT) modeling tool estimates that 32% of new cases in Jamaica and 33% in Dominican Republic occur among MSM. Recognizing these challenges, the Caribbean Regional Strategic Framework (CRSF) 2014-2018 is premised on the understanding that ending HIV is not possible until the human rights of all people, and particularly those most vulnerable to HIV, are fully realized.
PANCAP said it is “convinced that HIV-related stigma and discrimination which contribute to the persistence of AIDS in our region can be reduced and/or eliminated through collaborative programmes, partnerships and policies supported by governments, private sectors, faith-based organisations, non-governmental organisations….”
It said it is in this regard it viewed the current situation involving Professor Bain “as an opportunity for the region to engage in a dispassionate, thoughtful and holistic discussion that accommodates differing views and promotes understanding and inclusion”