Health4Men nurse Masilo Telekoa
Health4Men has launched a new sexual health service for men who have sex with men (MSM) at the Yeoville Clinic in Johannesburg.
MSM can now access specialised health care at the clinic, including free and confidential HIV and STI screening and free treatment for men who test positive.
The service is managed by Health4Men, an innovative project of the Anova Health Institute and is supported by PEPFAR and USAID.
The new Yeoville site is run in partnership with the City of Johannesburg, which has agreed to incorporate Anova’s specialised MSM programme within one of the city’s busiest clinics.
The partnership came into effect with the signing of a memorandum of agreement between the city and its NGO partners on Tuesday.
The service at the Yeovile Clinic comes as the provision of non-stigmatising sexual health care for MSM is increasingly being recognised as a priority in effectively responding to South Africa’s HIV epidemic.
MSM are seen as a high-risk population in terms of HIV, with infection rates well-above the general male population. According to Health4Men’s Glenn de Swardt: “When they seek healthcare, they often experience prejudice which ultimately leads to neglect and sub-standard care.”
A recent survey of MSM in the township areas surrounding Cape Town, conducted by Health4Men and the Centre for Gender Studies at the University of Cambridge, revealed an HIV prevalence rate of 34%.
“The new Health4Men site is a significant development for all men who have sex with men residing in Johannesburg who have been unable to access appropriate services within the public sector,” explained Prof James McIntyre, Executive Director of the Anova Health Institute.
“Now these men have a space where they feel welcome and can be honest about their sexuality when interacting with medical staff.”
With their MSM-friendly services and sex-positive approach, Health4Men sites across the country are helping to change the way men think about health care. The Yeoville site adds to Health4Men’s three clinics located in Soweto plus clinics in Khayelitsha and Woodstock, Cape Town.
The Yeoville clinic is located between the public swimming pool, police station and the Yeoville Recreation Centre, at 1219 Kenmere (corner of Kenmere and Hopkins). Operating hours are from 8 a.m. till 4 p.m. on weekdays.