Promoting New Models of Masculinity to Prevent HIV among Men Who Have Sex with Men in Nicaragua

Jorge is a serious young guy, married with two children. He and his co-worker Javier, an openly gay man of the same age, are standing in the lobby of a small movie theater in Managua that screens heterosexual adult-content movies nonstop for an audience of only men. As customers walk through, Jorge or Javier approach them for a short chat about life, emotions, and safer sex. These conversations last no more than 10 minutes and end with condoms, lubricants, and information and referral flyers changing hands.

Jorge and Javier are HIV peer educators for Centro para la Prevención y Educación del SIDA (Center for HIV Prevention and Education) (CEPRESI), a Nicaraguan community-based organization, and they spend many evenings in theater lobbies. There are several adult-content movie theaters in Managua, and their clientele often includes men seeking other men for sexual encounters, either on- or off-site. In addition to theaters, men who have sex with men (MSM) also rendezvous in public parks, lakeside piers, transportation hubs, and night clubs. Some of these men are openly gay or engaged in a process of self-identifying as gay. However, many MSM are far from identifying themselves as homosexuals, a label that invites stigmatization in Nicaraguan society.

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2011

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