Homophobia fears after durban claims

2014-11-17 00:00

EXPERTS fear a report that found nearly half of Durban’s gay men are HIV positive could stoke homophobia.

Activists said it could scare men who have sex with men (MSM) from seeking “medical attention” or to be open “about their sexuality”.

In a study released by the Human Sciences Research Council, Durban’s MSM community were found to have the highest HIV positive rate compared to Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Nonhlanhla Mkhize, spokesperson for the Durban Gay and Lesbian Community and Health Centre, said the public must realise the study was done on a very small sample of just under 1 000 men across the three cities.

“Compare this to the population of the MSM in Durban [which is unknown]. They are afraid to be singled out. A report like this can increase homophobia in the city,” she said.

While most respondents admitted to visiting clinics regularly, just under 24% of the Durban participants indicated that their most recent HIV test had been done by a “traditional healer”.

The report also found that clinics were “generally not welcoming” and asked for “greater sensitivity” when providing “HIV prevention services to MSM”. — WR.

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