Background: Papua New Guinea (PNG) is undergoing enormous economic transition giving rise to increased wealth, rapid social change and transforming cultural practices. In recent years the practice of polygamy in PNG has come under increasing domestic attention, especially as it pertains to reinforcing patriarchy and exacerbating gender inequality. In this paper we examine contemporary polygamy practices and what role sexual agency plays in women and girls quest for older married men.
Methods: A mixed method qualitative study on masculinity was undertaken in two Highlands Provinces of PNG. A total of 33 in-depth interviews and 10 focus group discussions were conducted with women and girls of all ages using convenient sampling. All interviews were digitally recorded, transcribed and translated into English before being analyzed using NVivo 9.
Findings: The majority of women and girls in the study discussed polygamy both as it has been historically practiced and more recent transformations to it. Historically polygamy served to reinforce the status of men and only available to a select few men. With increased access to cash economies and increased female sexual agency, women and girls now actively seek out men with disposable income and other assets. There has been an inverse of social status as women and girls come to posses wealth as co-wives. Despite the evidence of female sexual agency, participants were of the opinion that transformation and expansion of polygamy resulted in increased HIV risk.
Conclusion: Before being forced into polygamous marriage, contemporary PNG women and girls actively seek out married men to marry, hoping to benefit economically. What sexual health risks this poses for HIV remains unknown but understanding these socio-cultural features in PNG today are important to informing the future of women’s sexual health.
The majority of HIV diagnoses including delayed diagnoses in Australia occur among men who report homosexual contact – hereafter called gay and bisexual men (GBM). Delayed diagnosis is strongly associated with increased HIV-related mortality and morbidity. People who are unaware of their HIV-positive status may also be unwittingly transmitting HIV. We assessed trends in delayed HIV diagnoses among GBM in Australia.
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REACH was a collaborative research and practice initiative to develop evidence building frameworks, capacity, tools and resources with the Victorian HIV community partnership.
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Regular HIV testing is recommended in men who take sexual risks. We assessed the relationship between perceived barriers to HIV testing, and frequency of testing among men who engaged in unprotected anal intercourse with casual partners (UAIC), to inform HIV testing strategies.
In recent years there has been a widespread uptake of smartphones with internet access and location services and the development of mobile ‘apps’ for gay men to meet each other. We reviewed data collected in the Sydney and Melbourne Gay Community Periodic Surveys (GCPS) to identify which men were relying on mobile and internet methods to meet each other and whether these methods were associated with different risk practices.