Wednesday, 24 February 2016

'If she is a good woman …' and 'to be a real man …': gender, risk and access to HIV services among key populations in Tajikistan.

2016 Apr;18(4):422-434. Epub 2015 Oct 7.


The HIV epidemic continues to grow in Tajikistan, especially among people who inject drugs, sex workers, men who have sex with men and incarcerated populations. Despite their susceptibility to HIV, members of these groups do not always have access to HIV prevention, testing and treatment. The purpose of this study was to identify and understand the gender constraints in accessing HIV services for key populations in Tajikistan. Using focus-group discussions and key-informant interviews the assessment team collected information from members of key populations and those who work with them. Several themes emerged from the data, including: low levels of HIV knowledge, gender constraints to condom use and safer drug use, gender constraints limit HIV testing opportunities, gender-based violence, stigma and discrimination, and the lack of female spaces in the HIV response. The results of this study show that there are well-defined gender norms in Tajikistan, and these gender norms influence key populations' access to HIV services. Addressing these gender constraints may offer opportunities for more equitable access to HIV services in Tajikistan.


HIV; Tajikistan; gender; key populations