Today is World Aids Day - a day to create greater awareness and break the stigma associated with HIV and Aids. An online survey has revealed that 30.5% of South African men who have sex with men (MSM) had not been tested for HIV within the past year. MSM are a great risk population for HIV acquisition and transmission. Professor James McIntyre, CEO of Anova Health Institute, joined CNBC Africa to discuss the stigma that still exists.
Professor James McIntyre says: “The first cases of HIV in this country were in gay men and then the epidemic completely changed to become a generalised epidemic that affects women and children. But we think about 10% of all new infections in South Africa actually occur in gay men – that is a considerable burden that we need to address. It is also something that has not been tackled with in education campaigns and the mainstream press or by government to date.”
“We have a new programme that’s launched called WeTheBrave (available online at wethebrave.co.za) and in a number of different ways in radio ads, clinic posters, clubs and at the gay pride marches. It is talking to the bravery that these men already have…let’s apply that bravery to your sexual life. Be brave enough to prevent HIV, get tested and get on treatment.”