Male-Adapted Health Services Key Component To Shrinking Gaps In HIV Outcomes Between Males, Females In South Africa

Health24: To end AIDS in South Africa, we can’t afford to ignore men
Laura Trivino-Duran and Bubele Makeleni, both with Médecins Sans Frontières South Africa

“South Africa’s HIV program is the biggest in the world, and according to the latest data of the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), good progress is being made in addressing the HIV epidemic in terms of the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets … But close analysis of the data confirms that most of the gains are occurring in females. … The HIV community is realizing that male-adapted services are urgently needed to address the gap in outcomes for HIV between males and females. … But [even with male-adapted health care services,] MSF has not been able to reach men in the numbers hoped for … The search for effective ways to bring HIV-positive men into care is far from over, and needs to be prioritized now for the sake of men’s health, and in order to reduce transmission of HIV in communities. Male-adapted health care services are a key component to shrinking the gap existing between women and men and bringing men to care, yet they are not enough on their own and should be accompanied by other interventions, including community awareness campaigns and innovative approaches that address obstacles to improving their health-seeking behavior. Only when men are engaged in a holistic way will we start to see significant gains in HIV indicators for men” (12/7).