The Impact of an HIV Community Engagement Programme among Men Who Have Sex with Men in a Rural Community in, South Africa.

Johannes Ntshilagane Mampane


Men who have sex with men (MSM) are regarded as a high-risk group for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection worldwide. In South Africa, which is home to the largest number of people living with HIV, research has revealed that HIV prevalence and incidence rates among MSM have reached crisis proportions. African MSM in particular are more susceptible to the risk of HIV infection due to increasing homophobia on the African continent coupled with poor socio-economic backgrounds such as poverty, unemployment and low educational levels. In this regard, there is a need to develop appropriate and relevant interventions such as community engagement approaches which have shown to be effective in improving the health and wellbeing of marginalised and minority populations in disadvantaged and underprivileged communities. In the context of this study, the latter refers to Black MSM who live in rural areas. The purpose of this study was to explore and describe the experiences of MSM and health care providers (HCPs) regarding the impact of community engagement on HIV testing, prevention, treatment, care and support among MSM in rural villages in North West province, South Africa. Individual in-depth interviews were conducted with 4 MSM and 4 HCPs who have been involved in a community engagement programme in these rural villages. In a nutshell, the findings of the study revealed that community engagement has encouraged MSM to access and utilise HIV testing, prevention, treatment, care and support than they used to previously.        


Community engagement; Health care providers; HIV testing, prevention, treatment, care and support; Men who have sex with men (MSM); Rural villages

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