- Development & Aid
- Economy & Trade
- Human Rights
- Global Governance
- Civil Society
Sunday, August 7, 2022
Cape Town, Dec 18 2014 (IPS) - Across Africa, men have lower rates than women for HIV testing, antiretroviral treatment enrollment and adherence, viral load suppression and survival.
Generally, of all people on antiretroviral treatment (ART) in Africa, just over one-third are men.
The disparity can be even more dramatic: in South Africa, in 2012, half the number of men were taking the life-saving drugs compared to women: 1.3 million women and 651,000 men.
At the core of this inequality are socially constructed ideas of masculinity. To be a man means being strong, to ignore pain and symptoms. Hospitals are for women and children.
As a result, men test for HIV and start ART late, sometimes too late to beat the virus.
Manhood brings a mix of personal costs and benefits. Among the costs are men’s poor mental and physical health, and their difficulty to talk about their feelings.
It’s not considered macho to share personal problems. This is one reason why men hesitate to join support groups to help them cope with treatment.
Experts recommend setting up men-friendly clinics with opening hours suitable for working men, recruiting male champions to encourage men to join HIV support groups, and routine co-testing of couples at antenatal clinics.
IPS is an international communication institution with a global news agency at its core,
raising the voices of the South
and civil society on issues of development, globalisation, human rights and the environment
Copyright © 2022 IPS-Inter Press Service. All rights reserved. - Terms & Conditions
You have the Power to Make a Difference
Would you consider a $20.00 contribution today that will help to keep the IPS news wire active? Your contribution will make a huge difference.