Effect of stigma on MARPs’ uptake of HIV Prevention practices: Meta-analysis of records from 2009-2011


Sebulime Gerald, Muyunga Thomas

BACKGROUND: Integration of HIV/TB/STIs/Malaria services without considering MARPs issues such as frequent change of addresses to evade effects of visibility, social stigma, access to services and dis-regard towards them will impact on effectiveness of these services. This has effect on programming targeting MARPs at lower level governments, FBOs, CSOs and Community groups.
METHODOLOGY: Administering a structured short questionnaire, conducting 5 focus group discussions inquiring into services and what the unique characteristics attributed to MARPs were. Respondents included: 650 MSM, 11 lesbians, 3 indigenous MSM from Benets and 7 Ndorobo tribes, 71 regular substance users, 02 intersex, 05 transgender, 195 female sex-workers, 82 fisher folk and 150 leaders.
RESULTS: 02 intersex had faced ridicule, 05 transgender had faced ridicule from their communities and frequently moved from their residences in the past 2 years.  6 of the lesbians had stayed in their resident communities consistently for two years. 5 lesbians had frequently changed addresses within a year.  195 female sex-workers had all changed residences within two years; 75 had a history of abuse by clients; 100 were recruited by others to keep male clients company; 92 were involved in other forms of work; 50 sent money home in the past month; 100 had long distance drivers/ truckers as clients; 50 had a live-in partner who knew their sex-work activities.  All 82 fisher folk easily accessed social grants to engage in other forms of business as a result of fishing regulations. The leaders had heard of anal sexual intercourse experiences and incidences of stigma towards HIV+ men, women and sexual minorities. Stigma in communities perpetrated mostly by religious and media campaigns.
CONCLUSIONS: Stigma was faced disproportionately by MARPs. Religion and media fuels intolerance for MARPs, this affects access to services and health seeking practices.



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