2010. 104 p.
Jovovic, Iva
The term 'Men who have sex with men' frequently shortened to MSM - describes a behaviour rather than a specific group of people. It includes self-identified gay, bisexual, or heterosexual men, many of whom may not consider themselves gay or bisexual including transgender populations. MSM presents a topic that many governments and certain individuals would prefer not to talk about and choose to be silent on these issues, failing to acknowledge these behaviours and address them, which unfortunately helps the HIV and AIDS epidemic to grow. Therefore, the prevention programs addressing MSM are vitally important. However, this population is often seriously neglected because of official denial by governments, the relative invisibility of MSM, stigmatization of male-to-male sex, ignorance and/or lack of adequate information. All four countries (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia) experience low level HIV/AIDS epidemics. The dominant way of HIV transmission in these countries is through sexual intercourses. Though a much lower proportion among all HIV cases are officially attributable to homosexual transmission, the problem of under-reporting of homosexual transmission among those diagnosed with HIV is often mentioned in the country reports. Many people feel uncomfortable to name MSM as a way of HIV transmission in their individual case when talking to doctors. Since the year 2003 and the beginning of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFTAM) donations to the countries in the sub-region, a significant amount of financial resources and technical assistance was poured into scaling up treatment and prevention activities. The prevention activities were also improved in both the coverage of users as well as in the number and density of service delivery points. There are still negative practices in place such as: National legislation and policies that hinder a creation enabling environment to prevent HIV among MSM; Lack of relevant data on stigma and discrimination (from quantitative surveys or qualitative research); Social, cultural and political circumstances that influence the level of stigma and discrimination towards MSM; Evidence of unlawful practices (e.g. in health services, workplace, etc). Therefore, we prepared a report that would enable national authorities for better understanding of social and political context that would lead to comprehensive planning of prevention activities among MSM and other sexual minorities, even lead to a development of a larger scale sub-regional project.
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