Homophobia Spreads HIV/AIDS In Africa, Say Activists

Fighting HIV/AIDS ain’t cut and dry.

There are countless factors to be considered when combating the epidemic, especially in a continent as complex as Africa – and particularly with regard to homophobia:

The persistent and increasing outbreaks of violence against members of the gay community in Africa are jeopardising efforts undertaken to combat HIV, both within this group and across the population as a whole, Aids activists warned at a recent meeting in Limb, Cameroon.

According to IGLHRC, 38 of the 53 countries in Africa still consider homosexuality as an offence punishable by sentences ranging in severity up to imprisonment.

Even when MSM are aware, their exclusion from the majority of health policies on the continent means that it is difficult for them to obtain what they need to protect themselves from infection.

The most frequent problem is access to lubricating gel, explained Monvoisin. “Many [MSM] use butter or oil, but unfortunately this damages condoms.”

Well, they’re using condoms – that’s a step in the right direction.