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Report on the First Outreach Training Workshop for Men Who Have Sex With Men in Nepal
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Men who have sex with men (MSM) are generally a hidden population in Nepal and there is little understanding of the social, cultural and behavioral dynamics of their lives as they may relate to HIV transmission and other aspects of sexual health. Whilst community based research elsewhere in South Asia has begun to shed some light on hitherto hidden aspects of male to male sexual health Nepal remains largely unexplored in respect to these concerns. Recent preliminary outreach and health promotion work for MSM work conducted by the Blue Diamond Society in cruising areas where MSM meet in Kathmandu has allowed the opportunity for some initial exploration of male to male sexual health issues. Indications are that there is a high prevalence of unprotected anal sex amongst MSM coupled with a high incidence of sexual partner change. There is little knowledge about HIV/AIDS, safer sex or other sexual health issues amongst MSM in Kathmandu. Due to social stigma many MSM are not open about their sexual orientation with friends and family and as such often suffer from low self-esteem. These feelings of disempowerment affect the sexual lives of MSM. Diminished self-esteem seemingly reduces the capacity for sexual decision making and apparently contributes to the high incidence of abusive sexual experiences reported by many MSM in Kathmandu. For many men forced sex often occurs in the context of their work. Due to a lack of other employment options many MSM sell sex on the street or in nightclubs and dance bars. All of these circumstances put MSM in vulnerable sexual situations, increasing their risk of exposure to HIV and other STI’s.
Indications are that the majority of MSM in Kathmandu are also married and/or have female sexual partners other than their wives. This suggests that the pattern of HIV transmission associated with sex between men in Nepal should not be thought of as contained amongst a discrete population of men who have sex with men. Rather it appears that sex between men may be a significant route of HIV transmission within a generalized HIV epidemic in Nepal. Indeed it is misleading to conceptualize MSM as a distinct and contained target population. Male to male sex does not exist in isolation. Rather sex between men takes place within socio-sexual networks and sexual activity patterns that are intimately integrated into the sexual lives of the so-called general population,’ of which men who have sex with men are themselves a part. In this social context the development of outreach and sexual health promotion work with MSM is a priority. With these concerns in mind Blue Diamond Society organized a two day training workshop for MSM in Kathmandu, sponsored by UNAIDS. The aim of the workshop was to gather together men from amongst the nascent communities and networks of MSM in Kathmandu and to begin a process of outreach training and self-exploration. Issues covered in the first workshop included knowledge of HIV/AIDS and sexual health, sexuality, fieldwork skills and social and legal issues. It is envisaged that a series of training of this kind will ultimately enable the participants to develop skills such that they may eventually work as community outreach workers for MSM in Kathmandu and elsewhere Nepal.
#MenSexWithMen #SexualHealth #HIV/AIDS #BlueDiamondSociety#MenSexWithMen #SexualHealth #HIV/AIDS #BlueDiamondSociety
UNAIDS ,   (2001 )
Type / Script:
Progress Report in English
Thematic Group:
10.03.01  -  Disease Prevention And Control
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