A Health-e article reports that mental health and HIV were established as key items on the MSM agenda at Anova’s Top2Btm symposium which ran for three days in Cape Town last week.
The link between HIV and MSM is well documented; however HIV has also been linked to an increased vulnerability to mental health issues and substance abuse. Studies have shown that while MSM as a group are more likely to engage in substance abuse, HIV-positive MSM face shame and stigma which further compound their susceptibility to these practices.
Anova’s Chief Executive Officer James McIntyre clarifies the links between the phenomena in a quote from the article: “It’s a vicious circle of shame and guilt and stigma and discrimination and low self-esteem and then drug use and then back into a circle that, unfortunately, often involves HIV as well.”
To read the full article click here.