Survey / Poll

Dear Student,

The Networking HIV/AIDS Community of South Africa (NACOSA) has employed the services of the Foundation for professional Development (FPD) to evaluate a programme that was implemented at the following institutions:

  • – Central University of Technology
  • – Durban University of Technology
  • – Mangosuthu University of Technology
  • – Stellenbosch University
  • – University of Cape Town
  • – Tshwane University of Technology
  • – UNISA
  • – University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • – University of Limpopo
  • – University of Venda
  • – Walter Sisulu University
  • – University of the Western Cape
  • – University of the Free State
  • – Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University

This programme aimed to combat the HIV epidemic by providing health support services to university students and staff, especially those from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) community. This evaluation project has received ethical approval from FPD’s Research Ethics Committee.

Should you wish to participate in this evaluation and you are a student at one of these universities, we ask that you complete a survey. The survey will take approximately 10 to 20 minutes and can be completed here:

All responses are anonymous and you can partake regardless of your sexual orientation. Your participation will play a vital role in providing NACOSA with critical feedback in order to improve the future implementation of their programme and in turn help combat the HIV epidemic.

Kind regards,


Questions asked: SA study on men who have sex with men

Questions have been asked about a major new study on HIV prevalence among men who have sex with men (MSM), including gay and bisexual men, in three South African cities. The findings of the Human Sciences Research Council study, called the Marang Men’s Project, was released on Tuesday, based on research conducted from 2012 to 2013 among 925 MSM. The results were widely reported in the mainstream press. The study found that relative to national estimates, HIV prevalence is very high among MSM in South Africa’s three largest cities. In Cape Town, the overall prevalence of HIV among the MSM recruited into the study was 22.3%, in Johannesburg it was 26.8%. In Durban, the prevalence was unusually high among respondents, namely 48.2%. Researchers found that HIV prevalence was higher among self-identified gay men, especially in Johannesburg and Cape Town, compared to those who identified as bisexual or straight. For example, in Cape Town self-identified gay MSM were three times more likely to be living with HIV than their bisexual counterparts. “The statistical difference between the two was significant,” said the authors. The study also found that a large percentage of the men surveyed engaged in either selling or buying sex (transactional sex). Over half of the respondents (52.6%) in Cape Town, 11.4% in Durban and 23.1% in Johannesburg reported that they had “sold sex to men” in the last six months. A high percentage of the MSM surveyed further reported that they had been previously jailed, with this being highest among respondents in Cape Town (67.8%), followed by Johannesburg (42.6%) and lowest in Durban (8.7%). Some may question the...

Challenging assumptions: Gender non-conforming men & bi men in SA

The lives of gender non-conforming gay and bisexual black men in South Africa are generally not well understood by academics. Results of a local study on this group of men, however, have contrasted with previous international research and challenged perceptions of gender and sexual identity. Studies conducted in 2005, 2006 and 2007 in Western countries have consistently demonstrated that as a consequence of more frequent discrimination, gender non-conforming (GNC) gay and bisexual men experience more mental distress than gender conforming gay or bisexual men. Similar studies have not been undertaken in low and middle-income countries, despite the fact that gender non-conformity is evident in expressions of same-sex sexuality in such countries. The recent South African (SA) study explored two things. Firstly, whether GNC among gay and bisexual black men in SA, was associated with depression and, if this is the case, whether the association was mediated or moderated by discrimination. Secondly, the study explored the potential protective effect of being “out” as same-sex oriented as well as community involvement on the relationship between GNC and depression. The study found that in South Africa GNC is pervasive in the expression of same-sex sexuality. It also found that the expression of same-sex sexuality seems to reproduce a binary of masculinity and femininity among gay and bisexual men much more than in developed countries. Furthermore, the study showed that some gay and bisexual black men in SA openly display feminine behaviours and participate in traditionally feminine occupations, while others display more masculine identities. For example, within some black same-sex relationships, there are “wives” and “husbands” with clearly defined boundaries. The study surveyed...


It’s Johannesburg (read Sandton) Pride again on the 25th of October and it has reminded Dylan van Vuuren and Gabriel Hoosain Khan of a discussion they don’t believe our community has completely dealt with. And we do need closure on our Pride problems, they say. Van Vuuren and Khan ask you to join them in an attempt at being conscious gay community members. Currently there are five Pride events in Gauteng (Ekurhuleni Pride in KwaThema, Soweto Pride, People’s Pride at Constitution Hill, Johannesburg Pride in Sandton and Pretoria Pride in Centurion). The number of Prides do not reflect a growth in LGBTI activism, these represent a community more divided than ever. Let’s flash back 25 years ago to the first Johannesburg Pride. It all started in 1990 as a march organised by a group of activists called the Gays and Lesbians of the Witwatersrand (GLOW). This makes it the longest running and the largest Pride on the continent. It was founded by Simon Nkoli, also an anti-apartheid activist and member of the Congress of South African Student and the United Democratic Front. Simon expressed in his speech at this first march how he experienced racism in the gay rights movement and homophobia in the anti-apartheid movement. The theme of the first Pride was ‘unity in the community’ and the political vision was that of a march that would highlight intersecting forms of discrimination and bring a fractured community together. We have failed at this objective; the issue is now as relevant as ever. (Simon is probably turning in his grave at the state of the Pride movement.) But we...

Mossel Bay to host first gay pride

The Garden Route harbour town of Mossel Bay will be hosting its very first gay Pride parade and festival from 27 November. Dubbed Mossel Bay Penguin Pride, the four day event will feature a march through the town. The festival will also include various pageants, a blood drive, a cocktail and pool party, a drag show and a picnic. Organiser Rinus Marais said that the parade on Saturday 29 November will see “all races, sexes and creeds come together and join in the celebration of freedom of rights.” He added: “Mossel Bay will be over the top, decorated throughout the main road with flags and lamp poles covered with the rainbow.” The parade will start behind the City Hall at 1pm, move down Marsh Street and around the Point, culminating in front of Delfino’s at around 3pm. “People in Mossel Bay have been talking about having a Pride for years till I decided enough is enough and took the courage to say ‘let’s do it’,” said Marais. “I went to the mayor and asked her what she thought and she said ‘live and let live’. That was my cue,” he explained. Funds generated by the festival will go towards sustaining the Seabird and Penguin Rehab Centre (SAPREC) and helping it move to a new location. “Moving SAPREC to a bigger and better facility will not only help the organisation but will create a new tourist attraction for Mossel Bay,” said Marais. For more information on Mossel Bay Penguin Pride, including the full programme of events, visit the website or the Facebook page....


LGBTI and transgender rights groups are elated that Nadia Swanepoel’s name and gender identity have been changed in the population register. The hunger-striking transgender woman finally received a correct temporary ID on 13 October at Home Affairs and has applied for a new ID and passport. The Department of Home Affairs has also amended her marital status from civil union to a heterosexual identified marriage according to the Marriage Act. Nadia from Florida, Johannesburg, embarked on a food and liquid hunger strike last week to protest the department’s apparent refusal to change her name and gender for more than three years. Nadia’s act of desperation came as a result of systematic discrimination and prejudice she experienced at Home Affairs, said the groups. Her situation is one that is not unique but is part of an ongoing battle to get the department to create systems which will standardise the requirements and time frames of Act 49 applications such as Nadia’s. Although the structural problems which gave rise to Nadia’s desperation have not been resolved, the groups expressed hope that her case has made the department realise that it cannot continue in the same manner any longer. Concerted efforts need to be implemented from the department’s side to ensure that applications made under the Alteration of Sex Description Act and Sex Status Act 49 of 2003 are processed timeously. The current arbitrary interpretation, requiring genital surgery as a minimum, needs to be rectified with immediate effect. The groups called on the Department of Home Affairs to recognise that as a state organ it is entrusted with upholding the values and rights...


Addressing the unique needs of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM), a new professional, confidential and upmarket medical practice has been launched in Pretoria. TEN81 Medical Practice provides a range of specialised medical services to gay men, with a focus on sexual health and well-being. It offers clients a friendly and accepting environment where they can access the expert services of a nurse, doctor and two counsellors. “While we’ve come a long way in the last 20 years, gay and bisexual men often still face an element of embarrassment and even stigma when discussing and addressing intimate issues with their GP,” explains TEN81 Counsellor Johan Meyer. “Also, most GPs are not experts in the field of gay sexual health and many may not be aware of the latest research and developments in this area,” he says. Meyer adds that some MSM may be in a relationship with or be married to a woman. They might be confused about their identities and practises and may fear approaching their family doctor for advice or support. “At TEN81, our clients are assured of high quality services, all with a welcoming, private and non-judgmental approach to their relationships and sex lives,” he says. In addition to Meyer, the staff complement at TEN81 includes Gerard Damstra, a registered nurse who specialises in the field of HIV and STIs; Dr Amanda Botha, who is an expert in working with gay men and their sexual health; and Counsellor Jay Matlou. Services on offer include: General medical consultations HIV counselling and testing STI screenings and treatment Provision of PEP (Post Exposure Prophylaxis)...