Middle-aged and elderly MSM: why is it difficult to engage in HIV service organizations


The study (30 semi-structured interviews in 5 administrative-territorial units of Ukraine) covers men who have sex with men (MSM), middle-aged and elderly (over 35 years) to understand certain factors, which should be considered when planning new services or already those available in prevention projects. The authors tried to describe the lifestyle of middle-aged and elderly MSM as a power for mature individuals. The article describes that one of the main factors influencing the involvement of this socio-demographic group in the activities of HIV service organizations is the competition of the proposed services with other leisure activities, and the concept of services must meet the needs of potential clients (in the field of health, relationships with partners and their hobbies), daily life schedule and the use of ways to communicate with other members of the LGBT community. MSM and LGBT organisations should create a safe physical and psychological environment, advise on ageing, divorce, introduce safer models of living in stressful situations, support and shape behaviours aimed at maintaining health, forming a healthy lifestyle, and improving its quality both in the context of socialisation of clients, and preservation or restoration of sexual attractiveness and activity. Clients should be able to choose the services that best suit their needs from a wide range (including for same- and heterosexual couples) and how to receive services (with or without a visit to the organisation’s office). The organization of services should create a recognizable face of each organisation within the city or region and not offer the same set of services). The study has some limitations, mainly the impossibility of generalising the information obtained to the entire study population due to the purely qualitative nature of the applied methodology. The study group (MSM aged 35 years and older) consists of several distinct age groups, among which the oldest group had additional trauma in the past.

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