There is increasing attention to the health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, and Intersex (LGBTI) youth, although to date there is very little evidence on their sexual and reproductive experiences around the world. What we do know tells us that LGBTI youth experience an elevated risk of negative sexual and mental health outcomes and legal and structural barriers, especially in countries that openly and legally discriminate against “homosexual behavior” and that marginalize and criminalize LGBTI youth.
Besides young men who have sex with men (YMSM), very little is known about the health of other LGBTI youth.
YMSM are present in every country in the world, yet homophobia—and related stigma, denial, discrimination, violence, and criminalization—often prevent these young men from receiving critical HIV prevention and treatment information, services, and support. As a result, many YMSM are not equipped to protect themselves from becoming infected with HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Additional risk factors resulting from the isolation often experienced by YMSM include homelessness, substance abuse, and having multiple partners.
Also, the biological risk of HIV transmission is five times greater through anal intercourse than vaginal intercourse. For these reasons, MSM are on average 19 times more likely to be HIV-positive than the general population. The young age at which MSM often initiate sexual activity, and the fact that many who become HIV-infected do not learn of their status until late in the course of infection, highlights the urgency of addressing the needs of YMSM.
More research is needed to understand the health needs of other LGBTI populations.
This technical brief by the WHO discusses the HIV epidemic among young men who have sex with men globally. It addresses the points of vulnerability for this population, legal and policy constraints, barriers to accessing services, and considerations for programs and service delivery (2015).
This report highlights the HIV epidemic in the Asia and Pacific region among young people, including young men who have sex with men and transgendered youth. It includes a discussion of high-impact interventions, critical enablers of success, and recommendations for moving forward (2015).
The mission of the MSMGF is to advocate for equitable access to effective HIV prevention, care, and treatment services tailored to the needs of gay men and other MSM, while promoting their health and human rights worldwide.
APCOM is a regional coalition of MSM and HIV community-based organizations, donors, technical experts, the government sector, and the United Nations system. The main purpose is advocating for political support and increasing investment in and coverage of HIV services in Asia Pacific.
This site provides a global overview of MSM and HIV, including vulnerability, challenges, and effective prevention responses (2015).
This brief outlines the global epidemic of HIV risk for MSM globally, and comments on the comprehensive clinical approaches for care, success and challenges to prevention efforts, including a section on MSM in Africa (2012).
Globally, fewer than one in 20 MSM has access to HIV prevention, treatment, and care services. This document provides an overview of amfAR's MSM Initiative, which aims to reduce the high rates of HIV among MSM in resource-limited countries (2008).
This presentation provides an overview of MSM and the HIV epidemic in Asia and describes the amfAR MSM Initiative, whose mission is to significantly improve HIV prevention, treatment, and care among MSM in resource-limited countries (2009).
The Consultation on Strategic Information and HIV Prevention among Most-at-Risk Adolescents (MARA) focused on experiences in countries where HIV infection is concentrated among men who have sex with men (MSM), injecting drug users (IDUs), and those who sell sex. The meeting facilitated the exchange of information across regions on country-level data collection regarding MARA; identified ways to use strategic information to improve HIV prevention among MARA; and suggested ways to build support for MARA programming among decision-makers (2009).
Blame and Banishment: The Underground HIV Epidemic Affecting Children in Eastern Europe and Central Asia
This report highlights the issues faced by children living with HIV, adolescents engaged in risky behaviors, pregnant women using drugs, and the more than one million children and young people who live or work on the streets of Eastern Europe and Central Asia. To reach and help young people living with HIV or at risk of HIV infection, medical and civil authorities need to establish nonjudgmental, youth-friendly services that address the special needs of marginalized adolescents (2010).