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European experience of HIV prevention policy among men who have sex with men

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Author(s): Klymenko, Nadiia | Semigina, Tetyana

Journal: Tobacco Control and Public Health in Eastern Europe
ISSN 2222-2693

Volume: 2;
Issue: S1;
Start page: 37;
Date: 2012;
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Keywords: policy | prevention | HIV | MSM | NGOs | Europe | Ukraine

ABSTRACT
BACKGROUND: Men who have sex with men (MSM) are a high-risk group for HIV. Implementation of effective preventive activities is an important way to combat HIV among MSM. However, in Ukraine there is no real HIV prevention policy among MSM and the need for its formulation is still open. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Analysis of legal acts, national reports and other official documents related to HIV prevention among MSM was carried out for Romania, Slovenia, the Netherlands, and Sweden.RESULTS: European countries use various approaches to HIV prevention among MSM: institutional, structural, and media approach.Countries under consideration have fully specified the minimum standard package for HIV prevention among MSM, who are defined as the highest priority group. Distinct strategies for MSM and ways to achieve them are outlined within the national plans and strategies for combating HIV/AIDS (Slovenia, Romania, the Netherlands). The National plan for HIV prevention among MSM will come into action in 2012 in Sweden. Countries, chosen for this study, use the principle of social contract by which the government provides subsidies and grants to nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) working with MSM through its specialized health care units (Slovenia, Sweden), and sometimes only for one national NGO (the Netherlands). Outreach is the most common model of NGO’s activities.. In Sweden, MSM can get counseling and HIV testing in specialized HIV clinic for MSM. HIV prevention among MSM is run by representatives of NGOs through dating sites (Slovenia, Romania), through educating MSM and further promotion of healthy lifestyles among their friends. Along with the behavior modification activities, anti-discrimination strategies are used (Sweden, the Netherlands, Slovenia).CONCLUSIONS: Review of the regulatory frameworks, empowerment of NGOs, implementation of the social contract mechanisms, using interactive tools and providing education for MSM can be key points of HIV prevention policy among MSM in Ukraine.
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