More than a virus: HIV prevention and men who have sex with men living with HIV
APCOM Policy Brief
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HIV prevention for Men who have Sex with Men (MSM) has largely focused on ensuring HIV negative MSM (MSM-) remain negative. MSM living with HIV (MSM+) have been cast into the role of ‘vectors of transmission’, and prevention programmes have mostly ignored the wide spectrum of prevention needs that MSM+ have that go beyond disclosing their HIV status to their (assumed) MSM-sexual partners.
This policy brief examines current best practice and guidance for MSM programming in Asia and the Pacific. It determines whether they meet the needs of MSM+ HIV prevention and, if not, how they could be enhanced to do so. The policy brief also makes a number of policy recommendations for the international community, Governments, NGOs and donors focusing on the following areas:
- encouraging all MSM to test for HIV, know their status and take appropriate action
- ensuring that MSM+ who know their status seek appropriate support to discuss the impact that living with HIV may have on their sex lives
- ensuring that MSM- who know their status seek support to help them understand their role in protecting themselves and others
- MSM prevention programmes and staff should not ‘demonise’ MSM+ in prevention strategies that focus on the responsibility of MSM+ to disclose their status to all sexual partners.