Many people believe that men who have sex with men (MSM) are a marginal group in our population however male to male sex occurs throughout Africa, in all cultures, societies and even geographic locations. Keeping Alive Societies Hope(KASH) organization has in the past been in the fore front advocating for better health care services and human rights for the same and it was due to this that I developed interest in finding out more who MSM were and what are some of their challenges.
Many research in kisumu and Kenya as a country have been conducted by different organization’s both none governmental to government institutions and it shows that many MSM 50% may identify as heterosexuals and have female partners, this means in addition MSM being particularly vulnerable to HIV infection themselves, they are influenced by and are influencing the broader heterosexual HIV epidemic.
Despite our progressive constitution, MSM face stigma and discrimination across communities in Kenya and kisumu to be precise and are thus often discouraged from seeking help for their health and well being. Through some of my interactive discussion with the said during my field visits I realized that MSM face specific sexual health risks in comparison to heterosexual’s populations.Understanding these difference’s will help health care workers provide prevention and treatment services to MSM.
Who are MSM????????
MSM are men who have sex with men and not all see themselves as homosexuals or gay, many maybe married, have children and even engage in sex with other women.In fact in most cases they have masculine gender identity and cannot be identified as being MSM by their dress chords, mannerism or social roles.
The divers collection of men included in the term MSM are men who are heterosexuals, bisexuals or homosexuals and who can be either relatively masculine or affeminite in their dress and mannerism. What one should know is that the term MSM does not refer to sexual identity but identifies a group of men who practice a particular behavior irrespective of whether they identify as heterosexual or bisexuals.