Homophobia, Income Inequality Hinder HIV Services


The Global Forum on MSM & HIV’s latest report shows once again that economic inequality and homophobia inhibits access to condoms, lubricants and other HIV-related preventions and treatments. And, not surprisingly, so too does homophobia, particularly in African nations.

From the report, “Access to HIV Prevention and Treatment for Men Who Have Sex with Men:”

Cultural norms that favor heterosexual relationships foment homophobic attitudes in social and political settings. These cultural norms permeate health care systems as well.

Participants provided multiple examples
of health care providers who proselytized against homosexuality rather than provide education regarding
HIV prevention or focus on diagnosing and treating participants for the symptoms they presented.

Examples included health care providers citing biblical excerpts, chastising men for their sexuality, and bringing in other staff to “look at the MSM.” As a result, some described avoiding treatment for infections because “the way I am treated makes me feel worse when I leave than when I came in.”

Click on the image above to expand a breakdown of factors that both prevent and encourage safer sex and HIV treatment and click
HERE to download a PDF of the report, via ThinkProgress.


  1. Francis says

    Sad. And not surprising. There is a reason why a lot of men (obviously/especially closeted men) won’t go to see a doctor. They don’t want the stigma attached to their name if it turns out they’re positive, and they don’t know how they can pay for HIV medicine if they find out they’re positive. And especially, and yes I am going there, we need to address the issue of homophobia within the black community, and within urban communities in general. 72% of new HIV cases with youth are attributed to men who have sex with men and over 60% of those are black. Young black MSM have HIV rates that have risen almost 50% in 5 years.

    There are reasons for these numbers. Will people address these reasons is the question, and can they do it without going on a racist tangent.

    We also have a severe issue with a complete lack of education regarding HIV. First because homosexuality is kept hidden in schools and gay/lesbian/bisexual teens often know nothing about homosexuality past what they hear, read on forums and see in porn before actually having gay sex. I cannot begin to tell you the many young gays who think they have a licence to have sex with whoever they please because there is no chance of pregnancy having sex with a man. Hell, I know so-called straight guys having sex with men solely because there is no chance of pregnancy. The think because there is no chance of pregnancy, they don’t need to use a condom. The US Education Department has dropped the ball tremendously, and the gay community has to do A LOT more to reach out to these kids, especially in these urban areas.