Sexual and geographic organisation of men who have sex with men in a large East African city: Opportunities for outreach

Michael W. Ross, Joyce Nyoni, Anne M. Bowen, Mark L. Williams, John J. Kashiha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: To describe geographical and dispersion patterns of men who have sex with men (MSM)-related venues in a large East African city and their associations with times, participants and venue type. Methods: Mapping of MSM sites in Dar es Salaam was carried out by community research workers who catalogued, observed and reported data on venue sites, formality, times of operation, type of participant, police or vigilante activity, length of operation and the degree to which it is known both in and outside the MSM and gay communities. Results: There is a large and widely disseminated MSM/gay satellite cultures of at least 98 sites, which has some formal sites, but is largely informal and operates within mixed entertainment environments and at particular times (including some weekend-only locales) across the city. There is a mix of places for sexual contact, largely social venues and sex on location sites. Cruising appears to be limited to open spaces and parks, with no vehicular component and almost no internet component. They are widely disseminated across all suburbs and there is no central location for MSM activities. MSM sex workers (SWs) operate at a third of these sites. Conclusions: There is a large number of 'local' MSM contact, social and sex sites and any work with MSM will have to include these less-formal and less-known sites. The widely disseminated nature of the MSM sites, however, also suggests that sexual networks may not be closely linked between sites. The climate of stigma, abuse and potential violence appear to be limiting the development of more formal sites. This pattern is probably typical of other large urban areas in East Africa and perhaps across sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere001813
Pages (from-to)1V
JournalBMJ open
Volume2
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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