Lack of Sexual Minorities' Rights as a Barrier to HIV Prevention among Men Who Have Sex with Men and Transgender Women in Asia: A Systematic Review

May 2015 - Structural Prevention

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Anderson J. E., and Kanters, S. LGBT Health (March 2015), Vol. 2 Issue 1, pp. 16-26, doi:10.1089/lgbt.2014.0024.

The authors of this study developed a tool, the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) Human Rights Index, to assess the relationship between human rights for sexual minorities in Asian countries and indicators of HIV prevention among men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender women (TGW), with scores ranging from 0.0 to 1.0 (highly punitive to full recognition). They conducted a meta-analysis of 237 epidemiological and behavioral studies from 22 countries in Asia and calculated the SOGI Human Rights score for each country. Analysis showed that a change in SOGI Human Rights score from 0.0 to 1.0 had better indicators for HIV prevention efforts targeting MSM—specifically, lower proportions of MSM who engaged in unprotected anal intercourse, and greater proportions of MSM who had been tested for HIV recently and had adequate HIV knowledge. Moreover, countries that were supportive, such as Thailand, had established men’s health clinics and services for MSM and TGW. The authors concluded that there was a strong correlation between human rights and indictors of HIV prevention, and called for increased efforts to ensure the human rights of marginalized populations.

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