Male sex workers’ (in)visible risky bodies in international health development: now you see them, now you don’t

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

International health development discourse constructs and regulates male sex workers as risky bodies in need of interventions for HIV. Drawing on ethnographic research among male sex workers and interviews with development sector actors in Nairobi, Kenya, this paper shows how the identification of male sex workers as a high-risk group for HIV offers a singular conceptualisation of their bodies as risky and renders invisible broader everyday struggles for security and wellbeing. Within these everyday struggles, male sex workers experience bodily risk as they are exposed not only to HIV, but also to being outed or outing themselves as gay. Interview findings show that development actors recognise and are empathic to male sex workers’ security risks but have limited opportunity to address these due to restrictive donor regimes. To contribute to enduring change and develop appropriate and effective programmes, it is important for donors to continue funding HIV activities in relation to male sex work, while broadening their understandings of risk.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCulture, Health and Sexuality
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2020

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