Research conducted in many countries has highlighted the vulnerability of men who have sex with men (MSM) to HIV and other STIs. Yet in Africa, they receive little attention in HIV/AIDS programming and service delivery because of widespread denial and stigmatization of homosexual behavior. In Senegal, a study conducted by researchers from the National AIDS Control Program, Cheikh Anta Diop University, and the Horizons Program has provided valuable information about the needs, behaviors, knowledge, and attitudes of MSM that has important implications for program managers and policymakers working to stem the spread of HIV/AIDS. The researchers used ethnographic and survey methods to elicit information from MSM 18 years of age or older from several neighborhoods in Dakar. As noted in this brief, the research team examined their own preconceived notions about sexuality, working through prejudices and taboos, and stressing the importance of maintaining the confidentiality of informants. All interviews were anonymous and informants were asked to provide oral informed consent. Informants received a small stipend to cover travel costs, information on STIs and HIV/AIDS, and a referral for a free medical consultation and treatment.
"Meeting the sexual health needs of men who have sex with men in Senegal," Horizons Research Summary. Washington, DC: Population Council, 2002.