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The respondents described an insular existence within the sex work culture, in part to limit exposure to stigma, which has implications for access to support as well as the influence of peer norms regarding sexual risk behavior and health seeking behaviors such as HIV testing.Further research is needed to tailor prevention and HIV testing efforts to reflect the distinct sexual health “cultures” that distinguish these two populations of MSW in Lebanon.
It is also important to acknowledge the heterogeneity within the male sex workers in Lebanon, including the sex workers at the (bathhouses) and escorts.
MSMGF has been a long-time advocate for the timely roll-out and scale-up of Pr EP, a pill that has been proven to work with great efficacy in preventing HIV infection.
Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO)MSMGF joins the Australian Federation of AIDS Service Organizations (AFAO) and fellow HIV advocates worldwide in celebrating the Australian government’s recent move to publicly fund Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (Pr EP) for HIV.
Given the nature of their work, male sex workers report having a high number of sex partners, averaging two to three clients per day (Mumtaz et al., 2011), as compared to an average of 10 annual sex partners among MSM who do not sell sex (Nakib & Hermez, 2002; World Health Organization, United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, & UNAIDS, 2011).
However, male sex workers are reportedly less likely to use condoms and access health services, including HIV testing, due to structural and social factors including poverty, stigma, and legality issues in MENA (Ballester, Salmerón, Gil, & Gómez, 2012; Kong, 2008; Mariño, Minichiello, & Disogra, 2003).
Although HIV prevalence is comparatively low in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), understanding the sources of new HIV infections is important to prevent a dramatic epidemic in this region.
Between 20, HIV incidence rates has increased by more than 35%, bringing the total HIV prevalence rate to an estimated 300,000 in 2011.
“When we get her request, we will decide on the matter,” said the anonymous source quoted by the Lebanese newspaper The Daily Star.
Earlier, the country’s national news agency had reported that security officials barred Lisewska from entry to the country.
In Lebanon, MSM were identified as a key population at higher risk, and some evidence suggests that MSM account for most new HIV infections in the Levant region of MENA (UNAIDS, 2014).
HIV prevalence among MSM in Lebanon is reportedly 3.6% (Afifi et al., 2008)—much higher than the 0.1% prevalence rate in the general population (UNAIDS, 2014)—however, other studies of MSM in MENA have revealed HIV prevalence rates between 5% and 10% (Elrasheid, 2006; Family Health International & Egyptian Ministry of Health, 2006).
Arab interest Lisewka had expressed particular interest in the Middle East.