Strategies for engaging men in HIV services

Colvin, C. J.

The importance of men in the global HIV response is increasingly recognised. In most settings, men are less engaged in HIV services and have worse health outcomes than women. The multiple gender, social, economic, political, and institutional factors behind these patterns are well documented. More recently, researchers have been reporting evidence on strategies aimed at improving the engagement of men in HIV services. Several promising approaches exist, including community-based outreach programmes, gender-transformative interventions to shift gender norms and practices, and the development of more responsive, male-friendly health services. Challenges remain, however, in terms of cost and sustainability, intersecting inequalities like race and class, and the difficulty of changing community-level gender norms. Future research should focus on developing theory-informed interventions and evaluations, on improving the understanding of specific subpopulations of men, and on broadening the evidence base beyond the few countries that produce most research in this field.