We often forget to involve men in the HIV response, even though we know from research that men engagement is crucial, both for men and women. So this newsletter is about male involvement.

Special thanks go out to Rachel Ploem, who shares with us the importance of men engagement in the main article, and to Alfred Adams who highlights interesting results from his studies of male involvement.

Enjoy reading this newsletter, and share your experience of male involvement with us!


What have MEN got to do with it?

Girls are so foolish and silly, that they have to be beaten so they can get some good ideas in their brains. That’s what an 8 year old boy from India learned from his father and older brothers. He added that he was confused because his mother and sisters had told him: ‘All men beat their wives, one day you will do the same, and it’s what men do to be manly’.

If these are the kind of messages to young boys, we shouldn’t be surprised by the epidemics of gendered violence, discrimination and harassment of women committed by men. How can we address gender violence by involving men and questioning masculinity, and how does this lead to better health and less HIV-infections for all? We have to change together! If you only change half of the equation, won't you get half the result?

What's new

Gender equality is not only a women's issue, it is a human rights issue. HeforShe is a solidarity movement for gender equality that brings together one half of humanity in support of the other half of humanity, for the benefit of all. It aimes to engage men and boys as agents of change for the achievement of gender equality and womens's rights. Initiated by UN Women, you can take action against all forms of violence and discrimination faced by women and children by joining this solidarity movement.

Adolescent deaths from AIDS rising, especially among boys
While new HIV infections have declined among children, adolescents and adults since 2000, HIV-related deaths have risen sharply among adolescents, especially 15- to 19-year-old males, Tyler Porth of UNICEF told delegates at the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne.

Analysis of UNAIDS 2012 HIV and AIDS Spectrum estimates showed a 32% decrease in AIDS-related deaths between 2005 and 2012 among non-adolescents (aged 0-9 and aged 20 and above) compared to a 50% increase among adolescents (aged 10-19). These findings highlight the considerable difficulties of transitioning from paediatric to adult care facilities with important implications for HIV and AIDS programmes and the urgent need to prioritise adolescents.

Why the involvement of men in HIV programs is limited
Involvement of men in HIV programs is an ongoing challenge, but one that is poorly recognized. Improved engagement of men is needed to ensure that HIV programs respond better to gender vulnerabilities. Poor involvement of men means that even targeted interventions for women and children have reduced  impact.

While diverse factors contribute to this situation, new research from Uganda by the International HIV/AIDS Alliance shows that men’s involvement, participation and uptake of HIV services is influenced by both stigma and masculinity, the combined effect of which is to reduce men’s health-seeking behavior, their readiness to accept ‘sick roles’  and their ability to disclose their HIV status.

Meet and Greet: Alfred Adams, researcher at the MaxART program

“I want to be a voice for men”. Alfred Adams (28) is a medical anthropologist from Swaziland. In the context of the MaxART programme he has conducted qualitative research on the low utilization of services by men in Swaziland.

On a rainy day in Amsterdam, we talk about male involvement and his research findings. “When it comes to HIV, statistics show that men hardly test compared to women. So that is a big problem. If we want to reduce the number of new HIV infections, we need to make sure that we reach out to the men.” Meet Alfred!


Driving the HIV response
A community guide to the WHO 2013 Consolidated Guidelines on the use of antiretroviral drugs fro treating and preventing HIV infection. It aims to assist community leaders and civil society organisations to: better understand the new WHO recommendations and guide country-level discussions on priorities (within civil society and between civil society and government); ensure meaningful participation of communities most affected by HIV in national decision-making and planning; advocate for any changes or further research necessary to adapt recommendations to suit their country context; and mobilise and prepare communities for the implementation of new recommendations.

Difficult Decisions: A Tool for Care Workers
Managing Ethical Dilemmas When Caring for Children and Families of Key Populations: People living with HIV, people who use drugs, sex workers, transgender people, gay men, and other men who have sex with men
When it comes to HIV care and support, making better decisions matters to all of us. It matters to all people with HIV, including key populations and their children; and it matters to care workers who want to make the best possible decision. If you want to make the best possible decision—or wish that the organisation that supports you would improve its decision-making—now there’s a simple tool that can help.

Upcoming events

Men Engage Global Symposium 2014
November 10-13, New Delhi

Youth and the Transformation of the Future
November 18, 2014, The Netherlands

World AIDS Day
December 1, 2014

Adolescents sexual and reproduction health and rights and HIV in Africa Symposium
December 7 - 10, 2014 - Zambia

More upcoming events

STOP AIDS NOW! is a partnership between
Aids Fonds, Cordaid, Hivos, ICCO and Oxfam Novib

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