MEN, BOYS, AND HIV: REMOVING BARRIERS TO ACCESSING SERVICES
#IASYouthVoices, Cleopas shares his story as a young man living with HIV in Zambia. Although Cleopas is able to access ARV treatment, he explains that he still faces many obstacles.
Despite improved health prospects for people living with HIV (PLHIV), young people are still falling through the gaps of HIV services. Stigma, discrimination, prohibitive laws and a lack of targeted services are responsible for leaving young people behind in the fight against AIDS.
In Zambia, the HIV epidemic is mature and persistent; HIV prevalence has remained largely unchanged since the mid-nineties at the height of the epidemic. Unlike women, boys and men have fewer entry points to access HIV prevention, testing and treatment due to a lack of tailored services, and are less likely to seek out services. A study in sub-Saharan Africa found that 6% of married men would take advantage of HIV testing programmes, compared to 18% of married women.
HIV and AIDS related stigma remains a major barrier to HIV services. Studies show that longstanding social attitudes and stereotyping of men can lead men to not use condoms or avoid health services. The stigma associated with HIV can also prevent men from getting tested and seeking treatment, impeding efforts to prevent new infections. This poses a particular challenge for PLHIV in rural areas in Zambia, where they are 32% more likely to experience stigma and are underserved with appropriate services compared to urban areas.
IAS Youth Voices is an advocacy initiative in partnership with the Children’s Radio Foundation to enable young people to actively shape HIV programmes and investment priorities that respond to their specific needs. The #IASYouthVoices multimedia campaign will highlight the stories and perspectives of youth who are speaking out about their experiences and needs in the HIV response.
This World AIDS Day, women have reason to be optimistic that a new era may be at hand – one in which they could have more choices to protect themselves against HIV.
Earlier this year, a novel monthly vaginal ring developed by the International Partnership for Microbicides became the first long-acting method to show efficacy in two Phase III clinical trials.
Watch this video to learn about the dapivirine ring and IPM’s next steps to potentially put the discreet, self-initiated product into the hands of women at high risk for HIV.
Reference: International Partnership for Microbicides (2016) The promise of the ring for women's HIV prevention. Available at: http://www.ipmglobal.org/content/video-promise-ring-womens-hiv-prevention, International Partnership for Microbicides (2016) The promise of the ring for women's HIV prevention. Available at: http://www.ipmglobal.org/content/video-promise-ring-womens-hiv-prevention
Female Condoms Are My Power, My Protection, My Pleasure!
“I like using the female condom because I am the one with the power,” says Deolinda, 23, who believes the female condom is a game changer. See how young people are solving some of Mozambique’s biggest health problems and having fun doing it!
Produced by Pathfinder International. Directed by Jaime Jacobsen. Contributors: Estrella Alcalde, Nelson Fakir, Felix Mambucho, Elizabeth Ortiz, Samboko, Nina Yengo, and Matchume Zango.
Reference: Pathfinder International (2013) Female Condoms Are My Power, My Protection, My Pleasure! Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50VMPY5NCwk