Aids and Men: Taking Risks or Taking Responsibility

The global AIDS epidemic is driven by men. Men have more opportunity to contract and transmit HIV; men usually determine the circumstances of intercourse; and men often refuse to protect themselves and their partners. Even if no more than one in four men endangers themselves and their female or male partners, this represents hundreds of millions of men whom is appears, regularly act without thought for their partners. Can men be persuaded to change their behaviour? How do concepts of masculinity affect risks and responsibilities in relation to the epidemic? The first section of this book examines the relationship between men's actions and AIDS world-wide, the impact of those actions on men and women and initiatives designed to help men protect themselves and their partners. The second section, written by journalists from eleven countries in the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe, illustrates many different aspects of that relationship - from machismo in Mexico to drug injection in Russia, from men in prison in Brazil to men living with HIV in Thailand, from men as fathers in the Ivory Coast to men who have sex with men in Kenya. Men undoubtedly take risks in relation to HIV. Whether or not they should also take responsibility for transmission of the virus, and how they can do so, are questions that cannot be easily resolved. This book provides some insights that allow a greater understanding of the issue.