Spotlight: Youth for Health Center, Mongolia

By May 6, 2013 Regional

Youth for Health Centre is the first established organisation for men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM) in Mongolia, established in 2003 to improve knowledge, attitude and practice on Sexual Health and prevention of HIV, STI among the MSM community, in order to reduce stigma-and discrimination and increase the understanding of sexual orientation in Mongolia.

Activities offered by the Youth For Health Centre include:

  • Trainings (on HIV/STI prevention, human rights, and behavior change communication, sexual health education on schools etc.)
  • Peer education and outreach work program
  • Printing, delivering IEC materials, brochures and training manual and module
  • Collaboration with journalists to change negative attitude on sexual orientation in general population
  • Working with Media and broadcasters
  • Advocacy
  • Community motivation activities, group discussions and meetings including; sport days, gay parties, and gay miss competitions, hiking and tour, others.
  • Referral to VCT
  • Hot line counseling and website for gay and transgender,  bisexual men

Additional information about Mongolia:

By February 2013, there were registered a total of 127 HIV incidents and 80% of HIV infected people is men and its 82.5% is among MSM.

Above detected infections have been 100% sexual transmitted.

By geographical location their 91% lives in Ulaanbaatar capital and left 9% was diagnosed from the countryside. By end of 2011, 82% of these incidents in Ulaanbaatar and left percent is in the countryside, they are being served under control of HIV/AIDS treatment and services. The hardest difficulty that is confronted with MSM community living with HIV infection, their 90% has psychological pressure, 80% doesn’t have own living convenient places and 60% is not possible to work in wanted position according to urging assessment result for HIV testing. Their 25% informed that is usually touched by HIV related pressures and mostly to announce HIV infection to others (family members, co-workers and so on.), to declare being HIV infected MSM at public places and other burdens from friends and close people.[1]

According Chain study Self-reported HIV status was 6.3% (CI=1.3-10.8; 16/219) and 48.9% (CI=37.9-56.6; 208/307) of MSM were tested for HIV in the past 12 months. 6.3% (16/219). Depressive symptoms and alcohol use were highly prevalent in the study population with 56.2%  (187/313) reporting a two-week period of depressive symptoms in the last 2 years, and 29.7% (123/313) reporting one alcoholic drink at least once a week.

HIV-related knowledge was modest; 46.9% (151/292) knew that receptive anal intercourse was highest risk for HIV and 41.2% (147/247) knew that a water-based lubricant was safest to use during anal intercourse. Less than half of MSM (46.4%, (134/296) always used condoms and 27.5% (150/273) used water-based lubricants for anal intercourse with men.

Human rights violations were common; 77.4% (229/295) report at least one enacted abuse, including rape 14.7%, (49/307), verbal harassment (54.8%, (169/303), and physical harassment/ being beaten up 10.4%, (43/313). Perceived human rights abuses were also common; 53.7% (162/306) report at least one abuse, including fear of seeking healthcare (29.1%, (85/311), and feeling that police ignored or refused to provide them protection 6.3%, (30/307).[2]

Currently in Mongolia there are many problems related to people living with HIV infection and MSM community that experience discrimination, often men can’t be hired in wanted positions due to their status, neglected in health and other social services.  MSM in Mongolia often experience excluded from home and greater difficulty when coming out, they incur double discriminations and so forth and are often subject to discrimination crime.

If you would like more information on Mongolia, including most recent HIV surveillance data and information on the legal environments for MSM and transgender people, please follow the link to the Mongolia MSM Country Snapshot

For more information about the Youth for Health Center contact:

E-mail address: [email protected]

Telephone: +976-7011-1240

Mobile: +976-9904-0735


Photo Caption: Members of the Youth For Health Center, Mongolia.

© Photographer: Mareike Gunsche and The Youth for Health Center, Mongolia

[1] Human rights situation among men who have sex with men /MSM/ are living with HIV/AIDS by Mongolian National Human rights committee and Youth for health NGO. 2012

[2] [2]Chain study. A Cross-sectional assessment of HIV risk status, access to services, and human rights contexts among men who have sex with men (MSM) By UNAIDS and John Hopkins University. 2011

Source: APCOM

Copyright: APCOM, Youth for Health Center

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