A decade of research involving men who have sex with men in sub-Saharan Africa: current knowledge and future directions

SAHARA J. 2012;9(3):137-47. doi: 10.1080/17290376.2012.744176.


It has been just over 10 years since the first large behavioral survey of men who have sex with men (MSM) was implemented in Senegal in 2001. Since then, behavioral and/or HIV prevalence surveys have been conducted in over 14 other countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Current available evidence and review have established that HIV prevalence among MSM in these countries are significantly higher than corresponding general populations, that MSM engage in sexual risk behaviors that place them and sexual partners at higher risk, and that issues of discrimination and stigmatization inhibit HIV interventions for MSM. This paper summarizes the existing knowledge, describes limitations of this evidence, and proposes new and enhanced research approaches to fulfill needed gaps to inform national HIV responses for MSM populations.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Adult
  • Africa South of the Sahara / epidemiology
  • Forecasting
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Homosexuality, Male / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Research / trends*
  • Risk-Taking
  • Sex Workers / statistics & numerical data*