A research review conducted by the University of Oxford has shown that gay men in sub-Saharan Africa are more susceptible to HIV/AIDS than the general male population.

According to Oxford University researchers, this is mainly due to the negative attitude towards gay men in most African countries, where homosexuality is generally illegal and LGBT people face political, religious and social hostility.

They add that gay men also have little or no access to appropriate sexual health care, such as health education, preventive counselling and sexually transmitted disease testing, treatment and care.

“Men who have sex with men (MSM), as all other Africans, have the right to access and take benefit from HIV prevention, treatment and care,”says Dr Adrian Smith of the Department of Public Health at the University of Oxford, who led the review.

“Some African states have started to recognise the issue, and are beginning to tackle the social and legal barriers that have excluded MSM to date. Those that succeed will deliver stronger HIV/AIDS control for MSM and everyone else.”

Researchers from the University of Oxford looked at published studies for HIV prevalence from 2003 to 2009, and it showed that in some parts of West Africa the prevalence of HIV positive gay men is 10 times that of the general male population.

The study was published in The Lancet.

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