Providing competent, comprehensive and inclusive sexual health services for men who have sex with men in low- and middle-income countries: a scoping review

Sex Health. 2019 Aug;16(4):320-331. doi: 10.1071/SH18191.


Although men who have sex with men (MSM) are disproportionately affected by HIV and other sexually transmissible infections, sexual health services for MSM in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) remain under-resourced and are poorly understood. A scoping review of literature on MSM sexual health in LMIC was conducted in order to identify key clinical services and gaps in knowledge. Three databases were searched, in addition to hand-reviewing key journals and bulletins, to identify literature with a focus on MSM sexual health. Key services related to providing care to MSM in LMIC that emerged from our review are described. These services include creation of safe and confidential clinic environments, HIV testing services, behavioural interventions, HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), rapid antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation and STI services. Compared with high-income settings, major differences in LMIC include lack of diagnostic technology, unfavourable legal environments and lack of funding for MSM health. Innovative approaches to healthcare delivery, such as harnessing mobile technology, self-testing and crowdsourcing interventions, can improve health services among MSM in LMIC. There are gaps in the evidence about how best to provide sexual health services for MSM in LMIC settings. Implementation research and scale-up of existing biomedical and behavioural interventions, such as HIV/STI testing services, PrEP and early antiretroviral initiation are urgently needed in LMIC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active / methods
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Continuity of Patient Care
  • Culturally Competent Care*
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Developing Countries*
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control
  • Health Services*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis / methods
  • Risk Reduction Behavior
  • Sexual Health*
  • Sexual and Gender Minorities*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / diagnosis
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / drug therapy
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / prevention & control
  • Social Environment