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HIV and Access to Health Care among Men Who Have Sex with Men in Malawi

Principal Investigator: Stefan Baral

Co-Investigators and/or partners: Andrea Wirtz, Gift Trapence, Vincent Jumbe, Dunker Kamba, Adamson Muula, Center for Development of People, Malawi College of Medicine

Dates of project: 2010 – ongoing

Description: Gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM) are at increased risk of HIV infection. Criminalization and stigma of same sex behaviors serve as critical barriers to access and engagement in health services, HIV testing and HIV care. We have partnered with CEDEP and the Malawi College of Medicine to conduct the first epidemiologic studies of HIV among MSM in Malawi, beginning in Blantyre and Lilongwe and expanding to five more sites across the country. Since these studies, we our work has expanded to develop and test the feasibility of a combination HIV prevention intervention and pilot the use of community-based CD4 point-of-care tests for early engagement in care and treatment for MSM who test HIV positive.

Funding sources: USAID, UNDP, and the Malawi Dept. of Nutrition and HIV/AIDS