MSM Country Snapshot Series: Mongolia

By December 21, 2012 May 18th, 2020 Policies

Mongolia hosts one of the region’s smallest HIV epidemics. It remained hidden until around 2007 when serological surveillance was performed after indications of rising incidence. From then until now, 75 HIV diagnoses were added to the HIV registry, bringing the total cumulative number of infections between 1992 and the end of 2011 to 100. Among these cases, 66 percent were reported cases among MSM. Given that between 1992 and 2007, data on sexual orientation were not collected, the 66 percent is probably an underestimation.

Similar to in neighbouring countries, MSM in Mongolia remain largely hidden because of widespread and institutionalized prejudice. Societal and family pressures lead many Mongolian MSM to marry and live secret ‘double lives’ with both male and female sexual partners. One survey meant to gauge levels of discrimination against MSM in Ulaanbaatar and Darkhan-Uul found that 53 percent of respondents thought of MSM as healthy people whose sexual behaviour is abnormal, meanwhile 14 percent thought MSM are mentally ill. Arbitrary detentions and physical abuse by law enforcement authorities have also been recorded.