Men Boys Commitment

Target: 1000000 Signatures Received: 7


There is a growing realization that men and boys are under-represented in HIV services while being overrepresented amongst AIDS deaths and a key part of the cycle of new HIV infections. This cycle needs to urgently be broken to reduce new HIV infections and mortality among men in all their diversity, as well as reduce HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women. The global Fast-Track targets to end the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat by 2030 will not be achieved unless men are better engaged in the
HIV response.

Please tell us what the Men and Adolescent boys need.
- What makes Men avoid health services at facilities?
- How should services be packaged for Men and Adolescent boys?
- How can we reach more Men and Adolescent boys with HIV services?
- Where do Men and Adolescent boys prefer accessing health services from?

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Reasons for signing

Total Signatures: 7

Doreen Lewanika

Jul 31, 2021 at 09:44 am

Because I want to be part of this

Favour Munamonga

Jul 29, 2021 at 08:51 pm

Alot of men/boys have an ego to uphold of being a 'MAN' as in they can handle things by themselves, also the lack of confidentiality health workers have. So if internet can be used as a way to spread information e.g tik tok videos , Instagram reels, facebook etc, because in our today world most people would prefer getting information/help off the net ,, if creative dance viral trends are used to dissermenate this information alot of men/boys will definitely come on board to access these services.

Lwiindi Hanyoolo

Jul 29, 2021 at 06:54 pm

Men/ boys need to be educated more on the importance of knowing one's HIV status. Men are usually prone to risky behavior therefore fear VCT and they can't handle emotional pain compared to females who are gentle and always want to know Where the problem is and what the problem is. Men need more education on HIV.

Chongo Mutale

Jul 29, 2021 at 02:49 am

Currently, judging from my male friends, most of them would rather self educate by using google or asking a friend rather than visit their nearest health facility. This is so because of the fear of judgement amongst themselves when all are actually in need of the same services. If man spoke out more about their sexual health, they would put themselves in better mental and physical positions.

Stanley Chibunde

Jul 28, 2021 at 05:30 am

The reason why alot of men/boys avoid health facility is attributed to the way nurses and other health workers conduct themselves offering those services. Firstly, nurses should practice confidentiality,but a lot of nurses do not abide by that hence attributing to fear among men and boys to access health services.
Second: I feel its high time men talk in order to open door to men and boys to access health services. For adolescent boys, I feel sexual and reproductive health education should be reintroduced in schools so as to accelerate the health package for men.
Thirdly: in order to reach more men and boys in HIV services, we need well trained art nurses and clinicians who are mature enough and who understand HIV purely. Alot of men and boys shy HIV clinics due to negative sentiment some clinicians have to people who are HIV positive.
Lastly, education on the importance of early access of HIV services should be introduced.

Emmanuel Mwamba

Jul 27, 2021 at 06:53 pm

Health care facilities have achieved limited HIV testing and treatment coverage in men, with barriers including confidentiality concerns, distance to the facility, inconvenient hours, and perceptions that facilities provide women-centered services. Other barriers to male engagement include stigma, poverty, and feelings of compromised masculinity associated with seeking health care.

Community-based HIV interventions can overcome barriers associated with facilities and increase men’s engagement in care. Social and livelihood interventions can reduce stigma and poverty.

Community-based testing interventions (particularly home and mobile) have high acceptability and reach more men than health care facility-based approaches. For men testing HIV positive, providing immediate antiretroviral therapy (ART) is associated with high retention and viral suppression. This strategy of “collapsing the cascade” provides streamlined services and reduces loss to follow-up.

Community-based interventions should be tailored to the needs of men to maximize uptake, including flexible hours, multiple follow-up visits, and convenient and private access to care. Integrating HIV testing into screening for chronic disease can reduce stigma and increase program efficiency. More research is needed on male-centered approaches to increase men’s engagement in HIV services, particularly later in the cascade. Interventions targeted to men who have sex with men are urgently needed.

The current state of evidence strongly suggests that community-based test-and-treat strategies can reduce the gender disparity in HIV testing and treatment by achieving higher levels of ART coverage and viral suppression in HIV-positive men.

Denial can be very strong in the male mind. Throw in a little machismo, a busy schedule, and one or two more rationalizations, and it's easy to understand why men often avoid or delay seeking medical care. In my 28 years of family practice, I'd estimate that about 75 percent of my adult patients are female.

A man reading with his child on a couch
In fairness to men, they have some legitimate reasons for being less engaged in their health. They don't have a monthly menstrual cycle that puts adolescent girls and women more in touch with their bodies. Young women are also encouraged to begin Pap tests at a young age, and need to see a physician to obtain birth control. Typically, cancer screenings (and cardiac testing) for men don't begin until about age 50.

With males, we often see them as patients when they are children or teens, but the 18 to 30 group don't come in unless they have the flu, an orthopedic injury or are too sick for work. They feel young and strong, almost invincible. Yet despite the feeling of invincibility, a healthy 18 to 30 year old should come in for a physical every two or three years. And if we detect any early signs of disease, they will be asked to follow up more regularly. By age 50, the American Academy of Family Practice recommends annual checkups. As physicians, we always prefer to find things early. Whether it's high blood pressure, elevated blood glucose or an irregular heartbeat, we can minimize the impact and possibly slow the progression of we catch them early.

Since many conditions don't have symptoms in the early stages, we shouldn't wait until we have symptoms to go for a checkup. That might sound like simple advice. Yet for many men, it presents a challenge because they are often no internally motivated to go to the doctor. Usually it takes external prompting from a spouse or significant other to get them to make an appointment.

Sometimes it's okay to wait a few days before deciding to call the doctor's office. If you have cold symptoms, a sore throat, or a mild sprain there is usually no harm in giving yourself a few days. But if you are experiencing chest pains, numbness or blood in your urine, you want to seek care quickly. I have had men come in and tell me they have had concerns or symptoms for months. By putting off going to the doctor, men put themselves at greater risk and might be delaying needed treatment.

You might think that male physicians would know better and seek care in a timely manner. Yet many don't. When I served in the military, I had a mentor who eventually admitted to me that he had been peeing blood for months. He was an experienced internal medical physician who certainly understood that he might have a serious medical condition. Like so many men, he was in denial.

Let Men's Health Month be a reminder to each of us (males) that we should get regular checkups and seek care when we notice symptoms that might indicate a serious medical condition. Don't ignore chest pain, shortness of breath, muscle weakness, a chronic cough or blood in your urine. You will be doing yourself, and those you love, a favor by seeing a physician. If it's not serious, you'll get peace of mind. If it is serious, you will likely have a better outcome because you sought care early.

It's important to remember that these changes will happen differently for each teen. Some teens may experience these signs of maturity sooner or later than others. And being smaller or bigger than other boys is normal. Each child goes through puberty at their own pace.

What changes will happen during puberty?
Sexual and other physical maturation that happens during puberty result from hormonal changes.

In boys, it's hard to know exactly when puberty is coming. There are changes that happen, but they occur slowly over a period of time rather than as a single event.

There are certain stages of development that boys go through when developing secondary sex characteristics. Here is a brief overview of the changes that happen:

In boys, the first puberty change is the enlargement of the scrotum and testes. At this point, the penis does not enlarge.

As the testes and scrotum continue to grow, the penis grows.

The first growth of pubic hair produces long, soft hair that is only in a small area around the genitals.

This hair then becomes darker and coarser as it continues to spread.

The pubic hair eventually looks like adult hair, but in a smaller area. It may spread to the thighs and sometimes up the stomach.

The following changes may also happen to a boy as he goes through puberty:

Body size will increase. Sometimes the feet, arms, legs, and hands may grow faster than the rest of the body. This may cause a teen to feel clumsy.

Some boys may get some swelling in the breast area. This is a result of the hormonal changes that are happening. This is common among teenage boys and is often a short-term or temporary condition. Talk with your son's healthcare provider if this is a concern.

Voice changes may happen, as the voice gets deeper. Sometimes the voice may "crack" during this time. This is a temporary condition and will improve over time.

Hair will start to grow in the genital area. Boys will also have hair growth on their face, under their arms, and on their legs.

As the puberty hormones increase, teens may have an increase in oily skin and sweating. This is a normal part of growing. It's important to wash daily, including the face. Acne may develop.

As the penis enlarges, the teen boy may begin to have erections. This is when the penis becomes hard and erect because it is filled with blood. This is due to hormonal changes and may happen when the boy fantasizes about sexual things. Or it may happen for no reason at all. This is normal.

During puberty, a boy's body also begins making sperm. Semen, which is made up of sperm and other body fluids, may be released during an erection. This is called ejaculation. Sometimes this may happen while the teen is sleeping. This is called a wet dream (nocturnal emission). This is a normal part of puberty. Once sperm is made and ejaculation happens, teen boys who have sex can get someone pregnant.

Mary Zulu

Jul 27, 2021 at 08:25 am

I think the rate in counseling in community levels is needed most. Expand theoretical and methodological approaches.The limited benefit of behavioural strategies derives both from the present dominance of some theoretical
approaches to behavioural change, and the limitations to knowledge from randomised trials testing the efficacy of interventions in individuals and small groups. The theories guiding most interventions are essentially cognitive and individualistic, and assume that people
have the motivation and freedom to adopt protective actions. These theories generally do not address the fact that, whether in sexual contact or injecting networks, HIV transmission is a social event and many factors other than perceived threat, knowledge, self-efficacy,
behavioural intentions, and perceived social norms affect whether or not an individual is going to share needles or have sexual intercourse and then whether or not sexual intercourse will potentially involve transmission risk.

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