The latest thinking on AIDS

The International AIDS Conference took place in Mexico in August and Aidsmap has full reports plus downloadable resources developed specifically for this conference.

Aidsmap's most recent e-newsletter reports that this year saw no great breakthroughs but instead a deal of new thinking about HIV prevention: in particular the need for 'combination' prevention activities – combining biomedical, behavioural and structural interventions – and developing a greater understanding of the social dimension of the epidemic.

A focus was on men who have sex with men (MSM) – including data from sub-Saharan Africa which reminds us that in Southern Africa there are substantial groups of men who have sex with men but also with women. Groups in the reported study are educated and urban, with a higher prevalence of HIV+ (21%), and a tendency not to use condoms. Over half do not see themselves as homosexual or gay. But on average, in the previous six months they had had 3.9 male partners and 1.5 female partners. In countries like Botswana and Malawi, homosexuality is illegal so this group is difficult to reach with education and services, but it is easier in South Africa, Kenya and Uganda.

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