Health4Men News

IDAHOT 2016

Today is International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia and this year’s theme is ‘Mental Health and Wellbeing’. The topic of mental health and wellbeing... Read More

Art For Anova

Anova Health Institute is looking to support local artists! Show us what you have (it can be a painting, a drawing or a photograph –... Read More

HAVING FUN WITH A FEMALE CONDOM – Glenn de Swardt

Most of us can relate to thinking "Damn that I have to keep using condoms !” in spite of our knowing that consistent condom use and reducing our number of sexual partners remain our best defence against STI’s (sexually transmitted infections) and HIV. Traditional condoms can interrupt the natural flow of a spontaneous act, are blamed by some for erectile dysfunction, and tops complain that condoms reduce sensation.

PnP – PARTY AND PLAY by Glenn de Swardt 11 Nov 2011

In Straightville the acronym PnP is invariably associated with a shopping list and stocking up on fresh fruit and veg or no-name-brand two-ply. However PnP has acquired a more sinister meaning in Gayville; in international gay parlance PnP has become established as an acronym for Party ‘n Play. Simply put, PnP is about bonking while under the influence of recreational drugs.

World Aids Day

To date the function of World AIDS Day and what it signifies has been an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died. This year WAD is celebrating its sweet 16, and to me it should be a circumspect celebration of man and life.

French Letters and Chocolate Hearts

Despite being the shortest month of the year, February can be a testy month for many of us. This is because, if you’re single, the 14th of February can seem like a hungry mosquito whose imminent and no doubt aggravating arrival cannot be stopped. Valentine’s Day practically spits glitter into the single gay man’s eye.

South African health organisation heralds new era in HIV prevention

The Anova Health Institute, the lead organisation addressing HIV among gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM) in South Africa, welcomes the announcement of exciting developments regarding HIV prevention at the 2015 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections. The conference is currently taking place in Seattle, Washington

French Letters and Chocolate Hearts

Despite being the shortest month of the year, February can be a testy month for many of us. This is because, if you’re single, the 14th of February can seem like a hungry mosquito whose imminent and no doubt aggravating arrival cannot be stopped.  Valentine’s Day practically spits glitter into the single gay man’s eye.

New HIV Treatment, Antiretroviral Cabotegravir, Lasts For Three Months

Today, HIV infections are completely treatable thanks to antiretroviral medication. Only problem is these drugs must be taken on a regular basis for them to remain effective, and for many HIV-positive individuals throughout the world, this simply isn’t possible. A new antiretroviral drug called cabotegravir, however, may solve this widespread problem, since it only requires injection once every three months.

A possible HIV vaccine in the form of a pill?

Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center are testing a new oral vaccine to prevent infection with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. The vaccine is unique because it is given as a pill, unlike most HIV vaccines tested to date that have been given as shots.

Scientists train immune system to spot and destroy cure-defying mutant HIV

Luring dormant HIV out of hiding and destroying its last cure-defying holdouts has become the holy grail of HIV eradication, but several recent attempts to do so have failed. Now the findings of a Johns Hopkins-led study reveal why that is and offer a strategy that could form a blueprint for a therapeutic vaccine to eradicate lingering virus from the body.

The surprising link between HIV and hearing loss

Adults who are HIV-positive are more likely to experience hearing loss than adults who do not have HIV, according to research published online December 26 in JAMA-Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery. Researchers report that adults with HIV were more likely to experience difficulty hearing both high and low tones, regardless of the severity of HIV disease progression or the use of and adherence to HIV medications. Funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the new findings expand upon earlier research that has suggested an increased risk of hearing loss in adults with HIV.

And…Cut! (A double circumcision story)

Circumcision is a controversial topic.  Pros and cons exist for men who are cut, and men who are not.  In 2007, I decided to get cut.  I had a number of reasons, amongst them that I prefer the way cut dicks look, personal hygiene, and that I’d heard that I would have 60% less chance of contracting HIV, should I ever have unprotected sex. 

Here comes the red ribbon

Come December 1, 2014, millions worldwide will be flaunting a red ribbon of some sort. It’s amazing to see how the iconic simple red ribbon has evolved since the first World AIDS Day in 1998, becoming more and more creative with each year. There are mosaics, quilts, tattoos, even ribbons written in the clouds. Gotta love Pinterest, until they suspend your account for pinning an “inappropriate” pic (in my defense it was the hottest naked man I’d seen in a long time; a sleeping beau with bulging biceps and virility that covered one third of the screen that made me swallow involuntarily…pure art has that effect on me).

HOW GAY MEN CAN DECREASE THEIR CHANCES OF DEVELOPING ANAL CANCER

Lance Feeney discusses how gay men can decrease the chance of developing anal cancer.

It is a little over a year since the Positive Life NSW President Malcolm Leech died of anal cancer and I’ve been thinking of him and his commitment to the myriad of health and social issues faced by peoples’ living with HIV. I’ve come to realise that we need to avert other deaths from anal cancer in gay men and people with HIV.

Webinar Recording Now Available: Drug Use & Harm Reduction among MSM

Presented by the Global Forum on MSM & HIV (MSMGF) in partnership with Anova Health Institute and Mainline, this webinar focuses on drug use and harm reduction among men who have sex with men (MSM). The webinar is intended for a global audience of community-based organizations and healthcare providers who serve MSM but who may not have expertise in harm reduction programming.

Health4Men’s mobi site expands its tech reach

Health4Men, a project of the Anova Health Institute at the forefront of promoting access to competent health services for men who have sex with men (MSM) throughout South Africa, has extended their use of cellular phone technology to reach their target group.

Elton John AIDS Foundation supports Health4Men

A new $7 million grant for the Anova Health Institute’s Health4Men project to address HIV in South Africa’s gay, bisexual and MSM (men who have sex with men) community has been announced in both Washington and Johannesburg. This significant international funding boost to expand MSM-targeted HIV-related services in South Africa is the result of a new partnership between the Elton John AIDS Foundation and the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

Upcoming Webinar: Drug Use and Harm Reduction among MSM

In partnership with Anova Health Institute and Mainline, the Global Forum on MSM & HIV (MSMGF) presents a webinar on drug use and harm reduction among men who have sex with men (MSM). The webinar is intended for a global audience of community-based organizations and healthcare providers who serve MSM but who may not have expertise in harm reduction programming.

Getting to the bottom of married men

It was going to be a quick trip to the supermarket. I didn’t even want to go in the first place but I had visitors from Cape Town and they wanted breakfast. Luckily it was early and I got parking right by the entrance of the mall. I zipped through the aisles grabbing the necessary and as I swept a two-litre bottle of milk off the shelf an Adonis checking out the nutritional info on the side of a milk carton stopped me in my tracks.

TECHNICAL BRIEFS ON HIV & YOUNG KEY POPULATIONS

To help address the HIV epidemic among young members of key populations, the United Nations Interagency Working Group on Key Populations has produced a series of technical briefs focused on the needs and realities of young men who have sex with men, young people who sell sex, young people who use drugs, and young transgender people.

Letting my ‘guard’ down

Shortly before my 28th birthday, I discovered that a friend of mine was HIV positive.  He wasn’t a very close friend, but I knew him quite well and it came as a shock to me because he was well educated, intelligent and financially established in the world, and I believed that people like him did not get HIV.  I couldn’t understand how someone like that could be “dumb” enough to have unprotected sex.  In the nineties almost every gay movie I could get my hands on was about gay men struggling with HIV or AIDS.  How could he not have known to wear a condom?  It was constantly drummed into us.

New Single-Tablet Regimen: FDA Approves Triumeq

ViiV Healthcare’s single-tablet regimen Triumeq won Food and Drug Administration approval on August 22, 2014. Triumeq is the first FDA-approved single-tablet regimen (STR) that does not contain tenofovir (Viread), a widely used antiretroviral drug linked with bone and kidney problems in some susceptible HIV-positive individuals.

STUDY: Tivicay Surpresses HIV Even in Those Who are Drug Resistant

Tivicay, the recently approved HIV integrase inhibitor — a class of antiretroviral drug that is designed to block a virus from entering the DNA of a host cell — demonstrated high rates of viral suppression in a recent study. Significantly, Tivicay is also proven effective for people who are resistant to HIV antiretroviral drugs, according to NAM.

Health organisation supports gay rights development in Uganda

Health4Men, a project of the Anova Health Institute that addresses sexual health and HIV among men who have sex with men (MSM), congratulates sexual minority activists in Uganda for successfully challenging and getting overturned the country’s homophobic ‘Anti-Homosexuality Act’. As widely reported, this draconian Act not only resulted in a dramatic increase in persecution of sexual minorities within Uganda, it also severely limited the ability of HIV health organisations to function within the country.

Anti-gay laws, policies, and HIV

A number of groups had attended to oppose the bill, which criminalized “homosexual touch,” punished R#8220;promotion of homosexuality,” criminalized renting housing to gay people. I was there with the Civil Society Coalition for Human Rights and Constitutional Law, discussing public health implications of HIV preven­tion and care, citing research from Uganda. Earlier, the Uganda Human Rights Com­mission had offered objections to the bill. Colleagues weighed in on legal grounds, and UNAIDS Country Representative, Mr. Musa Bungudu, reminded everyone of Uganda’s huge HIV burden.

Forced mutations doom HIV

Fifteen years ago, MIT professor John Essigmann and colleagues from the University of Washington had a novel idea for an HIV drug. They thought if they could induce the virus to mutate uncontrollably, they could force it to weaken and eventually die out — a strategy that our immune system uses against many viruses.

No Link Between Efavirenz and Neurocognitive Impairment in Italian Study

The widely used antiretroviral drug efavirenz was not linked with neurocognitive impairment in a study reported this week at AIDS 2014. Efavirenz (Sustiva, also part of the popular Atripla combo pill) has been associated with a variety of neuropsychiatric symptoms ranging from vivid dreams to depression, but whether the drug contributes to neurocognitive impairment (NCI) has been debated.

AIDS 2014 Conference in Melbourne - Anova Poster Presentations

The 20th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2014) will be held from 20-25 July 2014 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, in Melbourne, Australia.

It represents a tremendous opportunity to highlight the diverse nature of the Asia Pacific region’s HIV epidemic and the unique responses to it.

South Africa leads in HIV prevention among gay groups

As homophobic discrimination continues to sweep across the African continent, we should be acutely mindful of the diverse ways it harms societies. While we are most aware of the direct effect of homophobic physical violence on sexual minority groups, it is also crucial that we are cognisant of the other insidious and multifaceted ways in which stigma and discrimination impact not just on sexual minorities but also on society at large.

PrEP Works Despite Missed Doses, Although Daily Use Is Advised

No one who took Truvada PrEP at least four times per week acquired HIV in the iPrEx Open Label Extension (iPrEx OLE) demonstration project, according to data presented today at the AIDS 2014 conference in Melbourne. These new data support PrEP as a valuable HIV prevention option even when adherence may be less than 100%.

“Adherence has to be good, not great,” said iPrEx protocol chair Robert Grant, MD, MPH, of the Gladstone Institutes, the University of California at San Francisco, and San Francisco AIDS Foundation, in his late-breaker presentation of the study results.

As New York Embraces HIV-Preventing Pill, Some Voice Doubts

AIDS researchers and policymakers from around the globe are gathering in Melbourne, Australia, for a major international conference that starts this Monday. They’ll be mourning dozens of colleagues who died in the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.

But the work of the conference will continue, and one of the major topics to be discussed is expanding the use of a pill that prevents HIV.

Gay Men Who Discuss HIV Before Sex More Likely to Stay Negative

A new study of German gay men finds that those who discuss HIV before sex are much less likely to acquire the virus and also finds that HIV has a tendency to transmit during the first six months of a relationship, aidsmap reports. Publishing their findings in BMC Public Health, researchers studied 105 gay men with recently diagnosed HIV and compared them with 105 HIV-negative controls, collecting the data between 2008 and 2010.

Anova Health Institute mourns significant loss

South Africa’s Anova Health Institute is deeply saddened by the news that more than 100 AIDS researchers, activists and health workers, who were en route to attend the 20th International AIDS Conference taking place in Melbourne, Australia, were on board the Malaysian Airlines MH17 flight that crashed over Ukraine yesterday. Anova sends condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of those who have been lost to this tragedy.

Dr Paul Semugoma honoured with Human Rights Award

At the last International AIDS Conference in 2012, Paul Semugoma, M.D., delivered a rousing speech about the rights of LGBT and HIV-positive people in Africa. It was also at this moment that he decided to publicly come out as a gay man. This year at AIDS 2014, Dr Semugoma will stand again before the assembled crowd to accept the Elizabeth Taylor Human Rights Award in recognition of his accomplishments as a leader and advocate for human rights in the field of HIV/AIDS.

Let’s talk about sex, baby. Let’s talk about HIV…

One of my favourite sitcom quotes comes from Will & Grace when Karen tries to coax Jack into sleeping with Beverly (Lesley Jordan) for money.  “Oh you’ll do it. You’ll do it the same way any self-respecting woman does. Get on your back, point your heels to Jesus and think of handbags.”

NATIVE VML’s condom walls spread the word on STI prevention

Giant tactical installations in South African cities with thousands of condoms spelling out the names of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs), is an innovative way through which the USAID-funded Anova’s Health4Men initiative is spreading the message of STI prevention.

Video Games, Social Networks, Chat Rooms, May Help Prevent HIV

While many HIV prevention interventions have traditionally been delivered face-to-face, a study from Columbia University School of Nursing suggests that digital outreach efforts delivered via text messages, interactive games, chat rooms, and social networks may be an effective way to reach at-risk younger men.

Webinar Recording Now Available: Clinical Management of MSM in Resource-Limited Settings

On June 18th, the MSMGF and ANOVA Health Institute presented a webinar on lessons learned from the Health4Men state-sector sexual health program targeting men who have sex with men (MSM) in South Africa. This successful program has now provided care to more than 8000 MSM in 4 provinces across the country and is being extended nationally. The project spans both urban and rural settings with diverse operational requirements

Scientists use stem cells to create HIV resistance

(Medical Xpress)—Yuet Wai Kan of the University of California, San Francisco and colleagues have created HIV-resistant white blood cells by editing the genomes of induced pluripotent stem cells. The researchers inserted genes with a mutation that confers resistance to HIV into stem cells. White blood cells grown from these stem cells were HIV resistant. The research appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

11 Condom Designs Each Get $100,000 From Gates Foundation

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is supporting 11 condom designs with grants of $100,000 each to improve user experience, according to a foundation statement. The grants are funded through its Grand Challenges Explorations initiative, which supports innovative ideas to tackle key global health and development problems.

Cure for HIV on the cards — scientists discover a way to kill hidden HIV virus

Scientists have identified a new way to reactivate latent HIV, which could help overcome one of the biggest obstacles to finding a cure for the deadly virus. Researchers at the Gladstone Institutes found that increasing the random activity, or noise, associated with HIV gene expression – without increasing the average level of gene expression – can reactivate latent HIV.

Scientists Uncover Features of Antibody-Producing Cells in People Infected with HIV

Using advanced tools to probe B-cell responses to HIV and other pathogens in the laboratory, the researchers found that the B cells that make antibodies to HIV in infected, untreated people are abnormal in that they are more activated, unstable and unresponsive to further stimulation than normal B cells, and also are infrequently observed in healthy people. This finding may help explain why HIV-specific antibodies naturally produced by HIV-infected people do not clear the infection, according to the scientists.

We’ll Never Stop the Spread of HIV Without a Vaccine

Out of 90 vaccine attempts, only 5 vaccine candidates were worthy of progressing to phase two or phase three human efficacy trials, and of those five, only two vaccines continue in clinical trials today — one in this country and one in South Africa. But we can’t stop now.

Drug Delivery System Cuts Daily Medication Needs to Semiannual Injections

New research from the University of Cambridge has now made it possible to reduce a person’s daily medication needs down to only two semiannual injections. This twice-per-year drug delivery system would not only be much more convenient for people suffering from conditions like diabetes and HIV/AIDS, but might also increase people’s long-term adherence to their prescribed drug regimens.

Bacteria linked to Heart Disease in HIV-Positive People

The first direct proof of a long-suspected cause of multiple HIV-related health complications was recently obtained by a team led by the University of Pittsburgh Center for Vaccine Research (CVR). The study also found that a non-HIV drug may help address the problem.

ART adherence higher among youth in Africa than North America

Adolescents and young people (AYA) aged 12 – 24 in Africa and Asia are more likely to be adherent to antiretroviral therapy (ART) than their counterparts in North America and Europe, according to research published in AIDS this week. The study points to the fact that the HIV epidemics in North America and Europe are concentrated among key populations who are often marginalised from society, meaning they are hidden and have inadequate access to HIV services, such as treatment.

ART adherence higher among youth in Africa than North America

Adolescents and young people (AYA) aged 12 – 24 in Africa and Asia are more likely to be adherent to antiretroviral therapy (ART) than their counterparts in North America and Europe, according to research published in AIDS this week. The study points to the fact that the HIV epidemics in North America and Europe are concentrated among key populations who are often marginalised from society, meaning they are hidden and have inadequate access to HIV services, such as treatment.

Are you open?  An exploration of open relationships

I have been fascinated with open relationships for more than 10 years.  Africa is not traditionally monogamous and is no stranger to polyamory (loving more than one person at a time). Our own ‘prez’ has 4 wives and has been married six times.  Initially I believed open relationships to be wrong, dangerous and not for me…

Celebrating Nurses Day: Stigma-free care for MSM

With the upscaling of South Africa’s HIV treatment programme necessitating task-shifting and the decentralisation of the South African healthcare system, nurses have become the backbone of public health, with most healthcare service centres being run entirely by nurses, with the support of visiting doctors.

To mark International Nurses Day on 12 May 2014, Anova is celebrating its nurses, and the work it does with nurses in the public health sector through its Health Systems Strengthening activities.

HIV Cure Research: Separating the Hope from the Hype

Sound science takes time. As Richard Jefferys of Treatment Action Group explained in a recent webinar, “HIV Cure Research—Getting Past the Media Hype,” a number of clinical trials are underway in the quest for an HIV cure, but none of the interventions currently under study are expected to cure people of HIV. Rather, those studies provide essential information to get cure science to “the next round” of development, said Jefferys.
Jefferys and webinar co-host David Evans, director of research advocacy at Project Inform and community advisory board member with the Delaney AIDS Research Enterprise, unpacked the concept of “cure,” outlined the types of cure currently under study, and highlighted key questions at the heart of cure research today.

 

HIV infection increases risk of melanoma

HIV infection is associated with an increased risk of melanoma, according to the results of a meta-analysis published in PLOS ONE. Overall, people living with HIV had a 26% increase in their relative risk of melanoma compared to the general population, the risk increasing by 50% for white-skinned people with HIV. The increased risk was statistically significant in white-skinned people diagnosed with HIV and of borderline statistical significance for all people diagnosed with HIV.

Discovery of HIV Vulnerability Aids Vaccine Research

A team of scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) working with the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) has discovered a new vulnerable site on the HIV virus. The newly identified site can be attacked by antibodies in a way that neutralizes a wide variety of HIV strains.

HPV may be the new HIV

In Africa, both HIV and HPV are most frequently transmitted through sexual contact.  Although much attention is paid to the AIDS epidemic in Africa, HPV-related cancers, particularly in people with HIV, can be as fatal as AIDS.

Cure News

Here’s a look at some of the HIV cure headlines over the past couple months. The ever-growing momentum towards a cure, particularly funding for cure initiatives, is encouraging.

Gay Men Divided Over Use of HIV Prevention Drug

It’s the Truvada conundrum: A drug hailed as a lifesaver for many people infected by HIV is at the heart of a rancorous debate among gay men, AIDS activists and health professionals over its potential for protecting uninfected men who engage in gay sex without using condoms.

Rapid Changes Possible in Semen Viral Load, Study Finds

For people living with HIV, effective antiretroviral therapy (ART) not only suppresses the virus and protects immune system health but has the added benefit of reducing the risk of transmitting HIV to sex partners. This side benefit, known as “treatment as prevention,” has been established by recent studies with mixed-HIV-status couples.

Rapid Changes Possible in Semen Viral Load, Study Finds

For people living with HIV, effective antiretroviral therapy (ART) not only suppresses the virus and protects immune system health but has the added benefit of reducing the risk of transmitting HIV to sex partners. This side benefit, known as “treatment as prevention,” has been established by recent studies with mixed-HIV-status couples.

Nyaope declared an illegal drug

Prior to the act being amended, there were no laws in place to deal with new narcotics created by modifying a substance’s chemical structure, or finding chemicals with entirely different chemical structures that produced similar effects.

Launch of the 2012 South African National HIV Prevalence, Incidence and Behaviour Survey Report

Stats released by the Human Sciences Research Council today show we are still deep in the trenches of HIV in South Africa. There are positive stories and the Minister’s promise to improve government-issued condoms is welcome. At DTHF we are advancing methods of HIV prevention and finding ways to initiate behaviour change especially among youth. This is no time for complacency or ‘HIV fatigue’, this is a campaign we have to win.

Beyond “Poz” and “Neg”: Five HIV Statuses, Plus a New One

To have a meaningful conversation about HIV status, people should corner intentions and sexual partners in the realm of actuality, by keeping it to-the-point and asking the following questions: “When did you last test for HIV? What was the test result?” Equally important is to open minds to reality by remembering that the time of binary HIV statuses is pretty much over.
I can count five HIV statuses, plus a new one. They entail different responsibilities, possibilities and risks.

New Antiretroviral Injection Shows 100% Protection Rate From HIV

Researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health have found that an injection of antiretroviral drugs can give 100 percent protection from HIV.
Monkeys were injected with the drugs in two separate trials, with protection lasting a month. However, research suggests that such an injection could last for up to three months, reports the New York Times.

Sluts, Stigma, and PrEP

When we talk about stigma and PrEP, the question we should be asking is, “Just what is it we are ashamed of?” Is it the sex? The gay sex? Or is it the realization that gay men find pleasure and fulfillment in anal sex and fluid exchange?

Truvada as PrEP Does Not Cause Kidney Damage, Study Suggests

Taking tenofovir/emtricitabine (Truvada) as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) has little effect on kidney function, according to a study recently published in AIDS. The study, known as IPrEx (Iniciativa Profilaxis Pre-Exposicion), showed a very mild decrease in creatinine clearance (CrCl)—a measure of kidney function—among participants taking Truvada, but the change was reversible, as CrCl returned to baseline levels after the drug was discontinued at the end of the study.

Legitimising genocide?

Today’s signing of the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill by their President Yoweri Museveni represents a dark and tragic event in Africa’s history.
Innocent people’s freedom and lives are now in danger based purely on their sexuality.
The Anova Health Institute joins the international outcry against the Bill.

Court battle Ugandan gay doctor release

Human rights organisations worldwide are appealing to Minister Naledi Pandor and the Department of Home Affairs to immediately comply with a court order instructing that Ugandan doctor Paul Nsubuga Semugoma must be released from detention.

Immigration officials at OR Tambo International Airport have ignored an order delivered on Tuesday night by the South Gauteng High Court halting the imminent deportation of Dr Semugoma as well as ordering his release from custody.

STOP DEPORTATION OF UGANDAN DOCTOR

Dr Paul Nsubuga Semugoma, a Ugandan medical doctor and human rights activist, has been under arrest for the past 48 hours and is facing the threat of deportation to his country of birth.
A group of South African human rights organisations are urgently attempting to halt his deportation as Paul is “wanted” in Uganda for his activism around lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues in his country.

Low CD4 despite viral suppression with HIV treatment and mortality risk

A low CD4 cell count is associated with increased mortality risk, even if people are taking virologically effective HIV therapy, an international team of investigators report in the online edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases. People with incomplete CD4 count recovery – a count below 200 cells/mm3 – despite three years of treatment with virologic suppression had a more than two-fold increase in their mortality risk compared to people with more robust immune reconstitution.

Easing the way to Pleasure and Safety: Lubricant Safety and Access around the Globe

Lubricants have an unquestionably sensual function: to make sex feel better. People use a wide variety of substances to increase their pleasure during sex and to eliminate pain. In the global response to HIV among MSM, lubricants also serve an important function in the prevention of HIV transmission. Appropriate lubrication reduces the likelihood of condoms tearing and it reduces physical damage to the rectal lining during anal sex. But proper lubrication is in short supply globally, and we know little about the effect of lubricants on the rectal lining.

What ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ got wrong about the AIDS crisis

‘Tis the season for Oscar bait, and this year, “Dallas Buyers Club” looks set to get at least a few nominations. The movie stars Matthew McConaughey as Ron Woodroof, a Dallas man who contracts HIV in 1985, when the diagnosis was a death sentence.
After responding poorly to AZT, the first drug approved to treat HIV/AIDS, Woodroof began acquiring unapproved medications from Mexico, Japan and other places around the world, and formed the titular “buyers club” to distribute them to other people in his area, whether the Food and Drug Administration liked it or not

Warts and all!

What if the warty frog you kissed didn’t turn into a handsome prince?  In fact, what if the handsome prince that you did manage to kiss, gave YOU a wart!  EEK! I know, right! Let’s take this frightening “Fairytale” a little further: What if that prince kissed you in your “no-no-special-place” (crotch area - stay with me people!) and gave you a wart there? Proceed to placing wrist to forehead, rolling eyes into the head and crumpling into a pale heap on the floor.

Nigeria needs more than Good Luck

In reaction to the recent passing of anti-gay legislation in Nigeria the Anova Health Institute NPC expresses alarm and trepidation at the resultant human rights consequences ensuing from such actions. Health4Men, a project of the Anova Health Institute NPC, is gravely concerned by developments in Nigeria regarding the wide-spread impact on the progress made in the fight against HIV in those countries and elsewhere in Africa.

Men with penile HPV infection have an increased risk of acquiring HIV

Men with penile human papillomavirus (HPV) infection have an increased risk of acquiring HIV, investigators report in the online edition of AIDS. This increase in risk was irrespective of circumcision status.

“Our results indicate that HPV infection is an important risk factor for HIV acquisition in men that needs to be explored further and accounted for in HIV-prevention studies,” comment the authors.

The other side of the female condom

Female condoms are not just for the ladies as some gay men in KaMsogwaba Township outside Nelspruit have found, but nearby clinic nurses are still not sold on the idea.
While not originally designed for use in anal sex, female condoms can be used by men who have sex with men (MSM) during sex in lieu of traditional male condoms.

Above the rim

To some, rimming is not even a fetish; rather it is a regular part of their sexual practise.  But if this occurs as commonly as social media and popular porn-sites would have us believe, then what are the risks of being a “rimmer” or a “rim-ee”?

Health4Men makes an impact at AIDS conference

ICASA is the largest international AIDS conference taking place in Africa and this year South Africa was selected to host the 17th ICASA which took place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) from 7 – 11 December, 2013.

With funding from PEPFAR through USAID, Health4Men has been establishing MSM competent services in Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West, Gauteng and the Western Cape since 20008. Reaching more and more people, Health4Men has just received an additional grant from the Global Fund which will allow them to extend their specialised services into KwaZulu-Natal, the Eastern Cape, Free State and the Northern Cape. Professor James McIntyre, CEO of the Anova Health Institute,  says: “This significant development will allow for an integrated and co-ordinated national response to HIV among MSM in South Africa.”

Shebeen/Tavern Challenge 2013

What do shebeens (township taverns frequented by local residents in township areas) have in common with World Aids Day? Health4Men’s third Shebeen/Tavern challenge!
It is that time of the year again and this year there will be 8 shebeens participating from Khayelitsha and Gugulethu and 5 from Soweto.

GRAUNCH

A deep kiss is a complex olfactory exchange of chemicals, hormones and proteins and a way for us to gauge how virile, or even what state of health our potential partners may be in because mucous membranes inside the mouth are permeable to hormones such as testosterone, which our clever bodies can detect. Subconsciously we build a profile on the person that we are kissing as we analyse the chemicals in their mouth in our own oral laboratory.

Soweto Pride

Health4Men will be at Soweto Pride on Saturday, 28 September 2013.

We will be providing free HIV screening and counselling or ask us for complimentary lube and condoms.

- Q and A feature with Mmapaseka “Steve” Letsike

Mmapaseka “Steve” Letsike is the chairperson of the Civil Society Forum of the South African National AIDS Council (‘SANAC’) and is also the Advocacy and Training Manager for the NGO—Anova Health Institute. The Civil Society Forum was established in 2012 to strengthen the civil society sector’s participation within SANAC through the leadership and constituencies of 17 Civil Society Sectors.

A Mpumalanga Symposium on MSM

The conference will take place on 30 July 2013 and will bring together renowned speakers in this field and will focus on current topics pertaining to men who have sex with men.

Key populations: policy development and partnerships the way forward

South Africa’s National Strategic Plan (2012-2016) highlights the need for policy development related to so-called ‘key populations’ which include men who have sex with men (MSM), sex workers and people who inject drugs, in order to ensure that our responses to the HIV pandemic are inclusive of these populations.

Mpumalanga Men’s Study

New study reveals exceptionally high HIV prevalence among men who have sex with men in Mpumalanga, indicating an urgent need to improve services.

According to the Mpumalanga Men’s Study, gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM) in Mpumalanga are among the hardest hit by the HIV epidemic. HIV prevalence may be up to 30% among this high-risk group with large numbers of new infections occurring in the last 12 months.

Health4Men improves diagnosis and treatment of drug resistant gonorrhoea

Gonorrhoea, a sexually transmitted infection also referred to as “the drop” or “the clap”, is known to increase the risk of HIV transmission. With growing resistance to antibiotics, effective screening and treatment of gonorrhoea is becoming a priority among high-risk groups like men who have sex with men.

Concern is mounting that resistance is now developing to the antibiotic cefixime recommended by the South African Department of Health for treating gonococcal urethritis.

The sex with no name

It’s such a taboo topic that some doctors and nurses are uncomfortable talking about it. But it is practiced by both straight and gay couples, and children, and has huge health risks, especially when it is shrouded in silence.

South Africa: Stockout Risks of New ARV Programme

Until now, state-funded ARV treatment has comprised three different pills taken at different times during the day. The new FDA combines the three key agents from these pills in a single pill that only needs to be taken once a day.
Although welcoming the FDAs as easier and more convenient for patients, activists and health professionals alike have warned that a stockout of the drug could have a catastrophic effect on the country’s public HIV/AIDS treatment programme - the largest of its kind in the world.

Michael Ballack Farewell Game anouncement

The goodwill ambassador for UNAIDS, Michael Ballack has decided to use the platform of his official Farewell Game, which will be held in Germany on 5 June to raise funds and awareness on HIV and AIDS. The game will be internationally televised.

New training coordinator appointed

We are very happy to announce a new member to the Health4Men team. Hilary Twiggs has been appointed as a Health4Men Training Coordinator. Hilary has been a lecturer in nursing science at Stellenbosch University; she has very significant skills in terms of both training and nurse mentoring. She will be based at the Green Point office and will coordinate all training in the Western Cape, in addition to consulting for Health4Men’s training and mentoring programme nationally.

How To Survive A Plague

Health4Men is hosting this Oscar nominated film at the Out In Africa film festival which is taking place 12 to 21 April. “How To Survive A Plague” was nominated for Best Documentary at the 2013 Academy Awards and was nominated for and won numerous other awards.

Top2Btm MSM Symposium 2013

Save this date for Anova’s third annual Top2Btm MSM Symposium!
“Keeping Up: What’s trending with MSM?”
23 April 2013 @ Crowne Plaza Hotel, Rosebank

Rape begets rape – SA’s brutal legacy

One in 10 South African men have been forced into sex by another man, according to a 2009 Medical Research Coun­cil study conducted among men between the ages of 18 and 49 in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

Drug-related harm reduction

In the field of sexual health, harm reduction is often closely associated with the use of recreational drugs. We certainly can’t stop people from using street drugs and instead of moralising about it and making drug users feel alienated, we need to implement programmes designed to mitigate the harm associated with this behaviour. Such harm reduction programmes are certainly not new – their importance is recognised by international bodies such as the WHO, UNAIDS and USAID – but they’re certainly new to South Africa. Health4Men, a project of the Anova Health Institute, already at the forefront of providing innovative free sexual health services for gay and bisexual men, has initiated an innovative harm reduction programme in Cape Town.

Ballack on the ball for Health4Men

Michael Ballack, star of the German national soccer team and a range of top teams from Kaiserslautern to Chelsea, visited the Health4Men clinic on Friday 18 January, just hours after landing at O R Tambo airport. Riaan Norval reports.

Gay Aids film gets Oscar nomination

The documentary How to Survive a Plague, chronicling American gay activists’ response to the early days of the HIV epidemic, has been nominated for Best Documentary at the 85th Academy Awards.

World Aids Day winning shebeens announced

What do shebeens (township taverns frequented by local residents in township areas) have in common with World Aids Day? Plenty, according to the outreach staff at Health4Men, a project of the Anova Health Institute that provides free sexual healthcare to men to have sex with men (MSM) in South Africa.

Genocidal developments in Uganda

Health4Men, a project of the Anova Health Institute, expresses grave concern and foreboding regarding developments in Uganda pertaining to the ongoing persecution of gay people, and the criminalisation of homosexuality in that country. 

The Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill appropriately referred to as the Kill the Gays Bill in the media, is due for a second reading in Uganda’s parliament within days. This is happening within the context of the Speaker of that parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, stating that the bill will definitely be passed and describing it as a “Christmas gift” to Ugandans.  It is ironic that the bill which allows for the death penalty on the grounds of sexual orientation was initially submitted by a fundamentalist Christian MP who was reportedly influenced by the irrational anti-gay views for a group of American Christian extremists.

Health services for gay men being expanded

Exciting news for gay, bisexual and straight men who have sex with men (MSM) in South Africa: Competent health services for MSM are being expanded in five provinces. This has been made possible by a significant five-year grant awarded to the Anova Health Institute by the United States President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR), through USAID.

Significant grant received

The Anova Health Institute, Health4Men’s parent body, has been awarded a significant five-year grant by the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), via USAID.

New Fact Sheet Series Coming Soon

Health4Men has developed a brand new, comprehensive series of fact sheets specifically designed for MSM (men who have sex with men) and addresses sexual health. A total of 11 different fact sheets will soon be available. Watch this space for more details.

PRIDE month in Gauteng

Three pride events are lined up in September through to early October.

Health4Men will be attending all three pride calendar dates and MSM (men who have sex with men) will be able to get sexual health information from trained professionals, free lube and condoms and also make use of the free HIV screening (with counseling)  services at all three events.

Global Female Condom Day

Starting on September 1st, the National Female Condom Coalition is counting down to the first ever Global Female Condom Day which will be on 12 September.

Read more about this global movement and find out how female condoms apply to MSM (men who have sex with men) and their sexual health.

Check your assumptions

We all make countless assumptions every day. We assume that in the morning the kettle and toaster will do their jobs, that the car will start or that our train will arrive at the station. We make assumptions about our partners, our family members, our colleagues and our friends, and about strangers. Our assumptions about our environment and the people around us are often based on nothing more than irrational notions, concepts, beliefs and attitudes which are very rarely based on fact.
Read more.

‘Cure’ research suggests new paths to HIV control

WASHINGTON — Three studies presented Thursday at a major world conference on AIDS show new ways that scientists are striving toward a cure for the three-decade-old disease.

One study focused on a group of 12 patients in France who began treatment on antiretroviral drugs within 10 weeks of becoming infected with human immunodeficiency virus, but then stopped the therapy.

The HIV virus stayed away for a median of six years in the group, known as the Visconti Cohort, which stands for “Virological and Immunological Studies in CONtrollers after Treatment Interruption.”

Read more

Truvada® approved by the FDA for the prevention of HIV

The latest milestone in the 30-year battle against HIV, is Monday’s approval of Truvada®  by the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the prevention of HIV transmission. Truvada®  is the first anti-retroviral (ARV) drug to gain approval as a preventive measure for healthy HIV negative people who are at high risk of acquiring HIV through sexual activity, such as those who have HIV-infected partners.

Have you experienced intimate partner violence?

Have you experienced intimate partner violence? Do you have a story to tell? This is a call for participants for a masters research project. The study is looking for gay men above the age of 18 who have experienced violence in a past relationship with another man. All information is treated in the strictest of confidence. Please email: research@yolan.co.za

Jury out on using ARV prophylaxis (Mail & Guardian)

South African guidelines for the preventative use of HIV medication by men who have sex with men who are not infected with the virus are to be published in the peer-reviewed academic publication, Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine, this month.

The treatment, pre-exposure prophylaxis (Prep), consists of an antiretroviral (ARV) pill that is taken daily by HIV-negative people to lower their chances of becoming infected with the virus.

OUTRAGE AT MURDER OF GAY MAN

Health4Men, a project of the Anova Health Institute, expresses outrage at the murder of a gay man in Kuruman, in Northern Cape province. Thapelo Makutle, a volunteer with a local gay organisation was gruesomely beheaded on Sunday 10 June after being confronted about his sexuality by his attackers.

This is clearly a hate crime on the basis of sexual identity and an extreme example of the ongoing prejudice and violence perpetuated against gay men in South Africa.

Health4Men does training in Uganda

We are all familiar with Uganda’s atrocious stance towards homosexuality, with repeated calls by that government to extend the death sentence to men who have sex with men. Health4Men was invited to train a group of healthcare workers, including doctors and nurses, to provide competent services for such men.

Lubricants a potential risk factor

While consistent use of condoms remain your best defence against HIV and other sexually transmitted infection (STIs), evidence has emerged that some water-based lubricants may be harmful to your rectum. This applies equally to top-of-the-range, expensive imported brands and locally manufactured lubricants. 

These findings emerged when researchers trying to develop rectal microbicides started poking around and asking questions about the effects of sexual lubricants on the mucosal lining of the rectum

Tik and HIV: A ticking time bomb

The Mail & Gaurdian has reported the latest findings on the street drug crystal methamhpetamine, known as tik, which increases the chance of men who have sex with men to contract HIV by 400%, according to a US study.

Health4Men goes to town: Anova introduces new sexual health service for men who have sex with men

Men who have sex with men (MSM) can now access specialised health care at the Yeoville clinic in central Johannesburg, including free and confidential HIV and STI screening and free treatment for men who test positive.

“The new Health4Men site is a significant development for all men who have sex with men residing in Johannesburg who have been unable to access to appropriate services within the public sector,” explains Prof James McIntyre, Executive Director of the Anova Health Institute. “Now these men have a space where they feel welcome and can be honest about their sexuality when interacting with medical staff.”

Cape Town goes big!

During May Health4Men erected a prominent billboard (3x6 meters) at the site C taxi rank in Khayelitsha, adjacent to Health4Men’s Khayeltisha Men’s Clinic.
Read more to see the final product.

Travel and HIV

For many people, travel is an important aspect of life. Some choose to benefit from the positive quality-of-life effects which come from participating in leisure travel. Others have to stay in foreign countries for long periods due to personal or professional reasons. It is important to know what your rights are and also if you might be faced with difficulty entering another country due to an HIV+ status.

Co-infection with hepatitis C increases mortality risk by 50% for patients with AIDS

Co-infection with hepatitis C increases the risk of death for patients with AIDS by 50%, according to the results of a large study published in the online edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases. A fifth of these deaths were attributable to liver-related causes, five times the rate seen in people with AIDS who were not co-infected.

The investigators also found that a third of co-infected patients were unaware of their hepatitis C infection.

PrEP acceptable to UK gay men, studies find

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) would be an acceptable HIV prevention strategy for large numbers of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men in major UK cities, according to two studies presented to the British HIV Association (BHIVA) conference in Birmingham this week.

Oral sex safe?

Even in the era of HIV and STIs imprinted in our consciousness it is surprising to learn how few people continue to practice oral sex without a second thought of possible health concerns.

Some guys don’t even view oral sex as ‘sex’ while others don’t see it as having potential health consequences. Although the risk of contracting HIV through oral sex is very low you should be careful. If you have a small cut, a blister or a sore in or around your mouth. Besides HIV, oral sex can result in the transmission of herpes, gonorrhoea, syphilis, hepatitis and (yes!) even genital warts. So what can you do to limit your risks of infection?

IMPORTANT HEALTH NOTICE

Health notice to all gay and bi men in Cape Town: INCREASED SYPHILIS GOING AROUND! Health4Men has placed notices in all gay clubs and bars in the gay village area and provides free screenings plus treatment

Men of Action at Ekuphumleni

On 30 March 2012, Health4Men ambassadors and peer educators in Cape Town visited the Ekuphumleni Frail and Aged Care Centre in Gugulethu,NY1. These Health4Men representatives, offered their services for free to this community based centre. Over 35 MSM participated, in support of this initiative by performing various duties for Ekuphumleni.

Health4Men at Zola clinic - Opening

MEN who have sex with men (MSM) can now get specialised sexual health services at Soweto’s Zola Clinic. 

The Anova Health Institute’s Health4Men initiative launched the service at the clinic on 6 March 2012

Gay online encyclopaedia debuts

WikiQueer, a gay, bi and trans online encyclopaedia has launched publicly this week.

The wiki site began collating content after its soft-launch last year and has now gone live.

How does recreational drug use affect HIV?

Recreational drug use can make people more likely to be infected by HIV. Also, for people taking antiretroviral medications (ARVs) to fight HIV, there can be some serious interactions between drugs and ARVs. These interactions can lead to under- or overdoses of ARVs or recreational drugs. Some of these may be fatal.

TB Awareness Month

South Africa has the fourth-highest burden of TB (tuberculosis) in the world and also has the largest number of drug-resistant TB cases reported worldwide. Another big problem in South Africa is the high prevalence rate of TB and HIV co-infection. HIV seriously affects the immune system which escalates the risk of contracting TB.

The month of March is ‘TB Awareness Month’  - Read further and get more information on what you need to know about Tuberculosis

HIV and the risk of anal cancer

A local health orientated website reports that anal cancer rates are higher among people infected with HIV, according to new data published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

The highest rates of anal cancer were found in HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM), but rates of anal cancer among HIV-positive men and women in general were also higher than rates in the general population.

Dr Kevin Rebe, the Specialist Medical Consultant at Ivan Tom’s Health4Men in Cape Town, comments on this article.

Bob takes a swipe at gays

ZIMBABWE’S President Robert Mugabe at the weekend told British Prime Minister David Cameron “to hell with you” over the prime minister’s call to respect gay rights.

 
SOME KIND OF INSANITY: Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe listens to speeches during his birthday rally in Mutare about, 26km east of the capital Harare. Mugabe turned 88 last Tuesday. PHOTO: REUTERS
Cameron said at the Commonwealth summit last year that countries receiving British aid should respect human rights, including gay rights.

Outreach success for STI/Condom Week

STI/Condom Week proved to be a very busy and productive week for Health4Men in both Gauteng and Western Cape.

Numerous events were scheduled in Khayelitsha, Soweto and other locations over the period 12-18 February 2012. Community events in Cape Town took place in association with the City of Cape Town Health Department, the Western Cape Department of Health and other non-profit organisations and included Site C taxi rank (Khayelitsha),  Khayelitsha Mall and Kuyasa Men’s Clinic. Events included HIV testing drives, educational talks on sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and condom distribution.

In Johannesburg, Health4Men took part in the Healthy Lifestyle Exhibition that was organized by the University of Johannesburg Campus Health Centre and Health4Men also went back to the Rec Room on Valentine’s Day for our monthly HCT service visit.

HPV Article

Human papillomavirus (also known as HPV or simply genital / anal warts) is the diarrhoea of sexually transmitted infections. It’s the most common of all STIs, yet gets the least press. Nobody wears coloured ribbons in aid of it or makes Oscar-winning movies about its victims. In fact, nobody even likes to talk about it, as I recently discovered at a dinner party when I mentioned that I was being treated for the virus. The conversation spluttered and jerked, then ground to a complete halt. I reckon I would have received a warmer response if I’d admitted that I shagged goats or was converting to Mormonism. 

Disclosure and your rights

The Constitution of South Africa protects the rights of people living with HIV. It doesn’t allow discrimination and protects people’s right to privacy and confidentiality. In South Africa, there aren’t any laws that force people to tell others about their HIV status. People who do test positive should tell their partner, so that they can be protected and also have an HIV test. People with HIV/AIDS in South Africa are protected by the Bill of Rights and have the same rights which protect all citizens.

What to look forward to in February 2012

Take a peek at what Health4Men has lined up for February!
•Latest developments include two new clinical sites for gay and bisexual men, in central Johannesburg and Soweto, supported by PEPFAR through USAID. 
•A naughty surprise for the ‘Get REDi for love’ Valentine’s Day campaign.
•Health4Men in Cape Town is initiating a recreational drug-related harm reduction campaign.

A Reminder of Health4Men services

Health4Men is an innovative project of the Anova Health Institute (www.anovahealth.co.za) addressing MSM’s diverse sexual health needs through free medical and psychosocial services specifically designed for gay, bisexual and straight-identifying men who have sex with men.

Check out our services, extended hours, support groups, training courses and more nearest to you.

Shebeen and tavern challenge winners

On World AIDS Day 2011, Health4Men set a challenge to the taverns and shebeens that Health4Men gives support to.  The challenge was to compete against each other, decorating their venues to commemorate World AIDS Day and bring about HIV awareness in their communities.

‘Fighting A Double Stigma’

Working up the courage to discuss your sex life openly with a nurse or doctor at a hospital is challenging at the best of times. For men who have sex with men and transgender women, it’s simply too tough to contemplate…

Cape Town Slow?

The rest of South Africa is always of the opinion that Cape Town is the slow city. Check out what Health4Men in Cape Town is doing on World AIDS Day! Think again and come show your support!

Breaking Barriers

Health4Men’s Ukwazana project held a sports day with a difference in Khayelitsha last Saturday. In an effort to eradicate stigma and discrimination against homosexuals, Health4Men hosted sports matches where gay, straight and bisexual people teamed up to play netball, soccer and volleyball.

Health4Men sheds light on PEP treatment

HEALTH4MEN IN THE NEWS: Health4Men’s Dr. Michael Laurino explains the details of post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) in a health-e article. The story is based on a study which found that PEP treatment is below par in the Limpopo and North West provinces.

Health4Men welcomes the WHO’s MSM and transgender guidelines

HEALTH4MEN IN THE NEWS: PlusNews has published an online article on the WHO’s new HIV prevention and treatment guidelines for men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender people. The piece includes comment from key players in the area of MSM specific healthcare. Health4Men’s Dr. Kevin Rebe was among those who shared their opinions on the organisation’s guidelines.

Lessons gained from providing services to MSM

During the 5th South African AIDS Conference, held in Durban over the period of 7-10 June 2011, Anova Health Institute under the banner of Health4Men presented on the lessons learnt from these initiatives. This also includes developments in prevention, treatment and care, plus research and training of healthcare workers. 

Saved by ‘township treatment’

The Simon Nkoli Centre for Men’s Health has once again been featured in the Mail&Guardian’s health supplement. The article takes on quite the personal approach as it tackles the issue of race relations and the ability to access treatment for those not falling within the vicinity of the men’s clinic. The article was written by Mia Malan and comes across as somewhat of a narrative piece relating the trials and tribulations of seeking treatment.

MSM, HIV and mental health on the agenda

HEALTH4MEN RELATED NEWS: A Health-e article reports that mental health and HIV were established as key items on the MSM agenda at Anova’s Top2Btm symposium which ran for three days in Cape Town last week.

Qwelane will serve as an example

HEALTH4MEN IN THE NEWS:Three years ago John Qwelane published a column featuring an illustration which depicted a goat and a man being united in holy matrimony. The column compared homosexuality to bestiality, claiming that allowing gay marriage meant that South African society was only a short step away from allowing human’s to marry animals.

MSM need more than just biomedical interventions

HEALTH4MEN IN THE NEWS: An article which appeared on the Plus News and African Press International websites, features comment on research which was presented at Anova’s Top2Btm symposium in Cape Town last week. Health4Men’s Glenn de Swardt was among those quoted.

DoH recognises MSMs

The next installment of the National Strategic Plan (NSP) on HIV and AIDS is said to be more inclusive of the needs of the MSM community in South Africa. Health-e news service has highlighted these issues in a recent article posted on their website. The article takes a look at the importance of the Top2Btm Conference, held in Cape Town just over a week ago and the impact which relaying this kind of information has on the MSM community in general.

Health care sector unfriendly to gay men

The Top2Btm AIDS Priorities Conference has once again put MSM in the spotlight with an article published by Health-e journalist Khopotso Bodibe.

The article takes a look at the current and pressing issues of MSM trying to access health care and the negative effects that this has on the basic health care of such a marginalised group.

“These gays must just stop it.”

“Nothing I hate like homosexuals, the founders of AIDS!” “If they burn with sex desire why can’t they quench it with a woman?” These comments and more greeted an article posted on The Sowetan Live website. The story has attracted a considerable amount of negative comment, even though it was only jettisoned into cyberspace 45 minutes ago.

Make sexual minorities mainstream

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi’s scheduled appearance at Anova’s Top2Btm Symposium in Cape Town caused waves last week. An article in the Mail&Guardian argues that the minister’s presence at the MSM and HIV focused symposium, while commendable, could re-stigmatise men who have sex with men.

Call for more South African research into HIV prevalence and risk among men who have sex with men

Effectively responding to the high prevalence of HIV among men who have sex with men (MSM) in South Africa requires more research.

This was the call of numerous speakers at the second day of the Top2Btm symposium where researchers, medical professionals and policy makers met to discuss treatment, prevention and care of HIV for MSM. The symposium is based in Cape Town and hosted by the Anova Health Institute with support from PEPFAR.

DOH renews commitment to address HIV prevalence among MSM

Speaking on behalf of Minister Aaron Motsoaledi at Monday evening’s opening of the Top2Btm symposium in Cape Town, Dr. Yogan Pillay, Chief Director of Strategic Planning at the National Department of Health emphasised the need for an HIV strategy that is “much more nuanced and targeted.”

The Minister was due to open the three day symposium dedicated to the sexual health of men who have sex with men (MSM), but was unable to attend and sent Pillay in his stead.

Reading the Minister’s speech, Pillay noted: “Even though the Strategic Plan mentions men who have sex with men, we certainly haven’t done enough to protect this group”.

Health-e article highlights key Issues raised at Top2Btm symposium

The Top2Btm Symposium, which is coordinated by Anova, is the subject of an article from the online health related news provider Health-e. The symposium which opened in Cape Town yesterday, focuses on various issues relating to MSM and HIV.

The article places the symposium in context through recalling the days when HIV was initially and erroneously labeled a ‘gay disease’ and consequently given the name GRID (Gay Related Immune Deficiency).

Anova Experts and Top2Btm Symposium in the News

Anova features prominently in an article in The Star that reports the findings of a PHRU and USCF collaborative study of men who have sex with men and HIV prevalence in Soweto.

The article features commentary from Anova’s executive director James McIntyre and David Motswagae of the Simon Nkoli Centre for Men’s Health. Based at the Chris Hani Baragwanth Hospital, the Simon Nkoli Center is run by Health4Men, a project of the Anova Health Institute that specialises in providing sexual healthcare for men who have sex with men.

Alarming HIV-prevalence stats

HEALTH4MEN IN THE NEWS:An article in the Mail&Guardian (May 13-19 2011) by Yngve Sjolund takes a look at high prevalence rates of HIV positive MSM and gay black men in the Soweto township, with emphasis on Anova’s Health4Men project. 

Health4Men caution Uganda’s anti-homosexuality threatens HIV prevention efforts

The controversial bill that includes a provision for the execution of homosexuals is being reviewed by the Ugandan parliament this week and may be voted into legislation shortly.

Health4Men, a project of the Anova Health Institute, have established Africa’s first public sector clinics dedicated to the sexual health needs of men who have sex with men - irrespective of whether they identify as gay or straight. Through its clinics in Cape Town, Soweto, Pretoria and Mafikeng, Health4Men personnel offer comprehensive HIV and sexual health care for all MSM and have built a sound reputation providing training and technical support to the public health system.

Get involved

Support Us Health4Men is a non-profit organisation, supported by PEPFAR and USAID. We are a project of Anova Health Institute, non-profit registrationnumber 2009 014103 08.... Read More

Our Partners

Health4Men is a project of the Anova Health Institute, funded by USAID and PEPFAR, and operates in partnership with the Department of Health. Direct health... Read More

Health4Men Centres

Our highly skilled team has been purposely selected based on their professional skill, experience in working with men’s sexual issues and their interest in the... Read More

Training of healthcare workers 2012

We would like to introduce you to Steve Letsike who has taken the role of Training Manager for Health4Men.
Plans are under way to commence training of healthcare workers in various provinces - Mpumalanga, Soweto and Bellville and Paarl in the Western Cape - to mention but a few.

Who are we?

Health4Men is an innovative project addressing men’s diverse sexual health needs through free medical and psychosocial services specifically designed for men. In particular, our services... Read More

Our Services

 Our medical services include HIV and STI related services. HIV-related services: Screening: We provide free and confidential HIV screening in a discreet and relaxed environment.... Read More

Health4Men launches Ukwazana campaign

Health4Men have launched an innovative new campaign that caters to men who have sex with men in townships in the Cape Town area. This comes in reaction to survey results indicating that up to one third of men who have sex with men may be HIV positive.

Health4Men condemns murder of gay activist

PRESS RELEASE: Health4Men, a project of the Anova Health Institute and sponsored by USAID/PEPFAR, joins the international outcry in strongly condemning this act of brutality. Kato, an outspoken member of Sexual Minorities Uganda, was amongst the group of gay men whose identities were made public late last year in the extremist newspaper The Rolling Stone.

New office space for Health4Men

The Health4Men office in Green Point has moved to a more spacious venue. Still located within the “gay precinct”, the new address is as follows: 1st Floor, 24 Napier Street, Green Point (directly above Anatoli restaurant, just past Crew Bar).