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ORGANISATIONS MEET IN PRETORIA TO DISCUSS HEALTH AND WELL BEING OF SEXUAL MINORITIES

in SOUTH AFRICA, 07/03/2012

A group of organisations concerned with mental and sexual health have been meeting in Pretoria, South Africa since Monday March 5.

The meeting was called to discuss the programmes and projects under the PRISM umbrella. The word PRISM in this context is an acronym for Prevention and Research Initiative for Sexual Minorities.

Southern Africa’s PRISM Project forms part of a collaborative effort between organisations in the global south (including Southern Africa, and Central and South America), and the Schorer Foundation (based in the Netherlands).

The organisations involved in PRISM include OUT-LGBT Well-being (Pretoria, South Africa), the Triangle Project (Cape Town, South Africa), the Durban Lesbian and Gay Community and Health Centre (Durban, South Africa), the Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe, GALZ (Zimbabwe) and the Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/Aids, BONELA (from Botswana). The Rainbow Project in Namibia was also part of PRISM until it closed down.

After four years running the project in southern Africa, the Schorer Foundation has this year increased the partnership in PRISM by adding Swaziland and Malawi and two organizations, the Lesbians, Gays Bisexuals of Botswana (LeGaBiBo) and Rainbow Identity Association, also from Botswana.

Bram Langen, who is the coordinator of the meeting, said “The objective of this workshop is for participants to get acquainted with [the] Schorer [Foundation] and to bridge the gap. It is also to exchange and learn from experiences of partner organizations.”

The Schorer Foundation’s approach is to collaborate internationally on matters of prevention for MSM, WSW and transgender through health promotion, mainstreaming and capacity strengthening.

In 2009 Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Swaziland, Lesotho, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda were unable to provide information on any of the five United Nations General Assembly indicators directly relating to MSM.

Rwanda measured that 47 per cent of MSM had received an HIV test in the last 12 months and knew the results and that 50 per cent of men reported the use of a condom the last time they had anal sex with a male partner.

For the same indicators Mauritius was able to provide information, with percentages of 15 per cent and 52 per cent (2007)

On Thursday March 8 and Friday March 9 the Schorer Foundation will organise a Regional Round Table on Mainstreaming in Pretoria.

Bram explained that “Mainstreaming here refers to integrating the needs of LGBT in regular health promotion.”

For the same indicators Mauritius was able to provide information, with percentages of 15 per cent and 52 per cent (2007)

On Thursday March 8 and Friday March 9 the Schorer Foundation will organise a Regional Round Table on Mainstreaming in Pretoria.

Bram explained that “Mainstreaming here refers to integrating the needs of LGBT in regular health promotion.”

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