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.
The Department of Health has recognised the importance of the MSM community and has vowed to be more inclusive of them in South African health regimens. This means that proper health care should be afforded to all MSMs within the South African community
In terms of the health-e article and statements made by the Department of Health the voices of the MSM community and organisations who suppoprt them, should make their voices heard to ensure that correct support is given to them.
The aggravated stance on tackling the problem of HIV infection amongst MSM can also be attributed to recent studies done which indicate a high prevalence of testing positive amongst MSM.
When Chief Executive Officer of Anova was asked to comment on these developments he had the following to say:
"We are incredibly encouraged by the very positive stand that the Minister of Health and the Department of Health is taking in recognising the need for a quality of access to health care regardless of sexual orientation. I think we’re starting to see action at the government level that we’ve never seen before in those terms. Our Constitution is very protective and very inclusive. But, again and again we hear that for men who have sex with men to actually go in and talk to health care providers, for health care providers to understand the issues and take the right sexual history, understand what they’re doing is very difficult. So, what we’re hoping is that we’ll see an increase in training activities, we’ll see an increase in resources, we’ll see an increase in health managers who understand the needs of MSM and who are prepared to start integrating that into their services"
To read the entire article, click here