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.
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.
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.