Reaching Men, Yes We Can!
Last week, GAIA’s Director of International Programs, Beth Geoffroy, and Program Manager, Nelson Khozomba, presented at the International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam. Our podium presentation on male-focused HIV testing programs highlighted a key global initiative to ending the AIDS epidemic: reaching men — who represent the largest undiagnosed population — with HIV testing and treatment. In Malawi, men have consistently lagged behind women as lack of awareness, anticipated stigma and concerns about confidentiality and clinics being “women’s spaces” create barriers to being tested.
To encourage HIV education and provide testing opportunities, GAIA holds events at times and locations convenient to men, such as on weekends, at worksites, or at sports events. Whereas only 26% of the people tested for HIV at our regular mobile health clinics are men, at these male-focused events, the number rises to more than 70%. At this pivotal halfway point to reaching 90-90-90 by 2020 — with UNAIDS reporting that global progress is slowing due to a “dangerous complacency” — GAIA is proud to share how we fight barriers and reach underserved populations on a global stage.
Thank you for persevering with us.