Health4Men, a project of the Anova Health Institute that addresses sexual health and HIV among men who have sex with men (MSM), congratulates sexual minority activists in Uganda for successfully challenging and getting overturned the country’s homophobic ‘Anti-Homosexuality Act’. As widely reported, this draconian Act not only resulted in a dramatic increase in persecution of sexual minorities within Uganda, it also severely limited the ability of HIV health organisations to function within the country.
What do shebeens (township taverns frequented by local residents in township areas) have in common with World Aids Day?
Health4Men has partnered with approximately sixty shebeens in Soweto and in township areas in Cape Town, including Khayelitsha and Gugulethu. These shebeens act as conduits for the dissemination of free condoms and sachets of water-based lubricant, posters and specially designed coasters that promote responsible sex between men, all provided by Health4Men. In addition to promoting sexual health, messaging challenges homoprejudice and discrimination based on sexual identity.
World Aids Day 2012 saw the second annual shebeen challenge, with ten participating shebeens competing for two floating trophies in Soweto and Cape Town respectively. Each participating venue was given identical materials to decorate with, including red ribbon, red candles, balloons, gauze and garlands, red raffia and of course, red condoms. Panels of judges visited the shebeens and scored them on the visibility of condoms and lubricant sachets, the prominence of responsible sex messaging and finally, their creative use of the decorative materials supplied.
It is that time of the year again and this year there will be 8 shebeens participating from Khayelitsha and Gugulethu and 5 from Soweto.
In the Cape region judging will take place at the following participating venues:
Lick’s Place Langa 11h00-12h00
Tola’s Place Makhaza, Khayelitsha 12h00-13h00
Ndora’s Place Makhaya, Khayelitsha 13h00-14h00
12 Down Tavern Khwezi Park, Khayelitsha 14h00-15h00
Thandi’s Place Phillipi East, Phillipi 11h00-12h00
Mina’s Place Crossroads 12h00-13h00
Zibele’s Place Delft South, Delft 13h00-14h00
Olwethu’s Place Leiden, Delft 14h00-15h00
The Soweto judging will take place on 7 December between 13h00 and 19h00:
Shake’s Place (Diepkloof Zone 4)
Nkululeko’s Place (Dube)
Sibongile’s Place (Snake Park)
Thusi’s Place (Mndeni)
Dudu’s Inn (Palm Springs)
Go and support your favourite shebeen and good luck to all our participants!