Literature Review on Men, Gender, Health and HIV and AIDS in South Africa - August 2008

This literature review on men, gender and HIV and AIDS has been carried out in conjunction with a number of policy initiatives that Sonke Gender Justice Network has been involved in over the last 18 months. A growing body of evidence also suggests that men are far less likely than women to access HIV services including testing, treatment and other care and support services. Men’s under-utilisation of HIV services significantly undermines prevention and treatment efforts. However, it is seldom recognized as a priority and few initiatives are in place to address this. Gender roles are not set in stone, however, and there is evidence from South Africa and other countries that efforts to increase gender equality can have significant effects on health by promoting more gender-equitable attitudes. Involving men in such programmes is now seen as vital to success, as recognized in several key international agreements.