183085 MACHO: A participatory approach to involving men in sexual and reproductive health in Peru

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 3:30 PM

Jessica Halverson, MPH, LMSW , International Planned Parenthood Federation/Western Hemisphere Region, New York, NY
Fernando Cisneros , c/o IPPF/WHR, INPPARES, New York, NY
Jane Galvao, PhD , International Planned Parenthood Federation/Western Hemisphere Region, New York, NY
Stephanie Chamberlin, MPH, MIA candida , IPPF/WHR, New York, NY
Issues: Men in Peru are largely absent from SRH services and programs, which fuels the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STI). ‘Machismo' culture makes it difficult to promote preventative behaviors and health care-seeking among men.

Description: International Planned Parenthood Federation's member association in Peru, INPPARES, launched a three-year initiative in 2006 to reach, understand, and involve men in their SRH programs. Entitled ‘MACHO,' the project aims to address traditional gender concepts and promote masculinities that are sensitive to the needs of men and women alike; and to facilitate knowledge of and access to SRH services. Activities include promoting services at a male-only clinic, conducting workshops at predominantly male workplaces, bringing services to men via mobile health units and community health fairs, and distribution of varied media to inspire reflection and action.

Lessons learned: Implementers discovered great unmet need to explore concepts of masculinities at both community and interpersonal levels. Creating safe spaces for dialogue and sensitization proved effective in gaining men's attention and participation, as well as support of their partners. Periodic campaigns, including free services and public awareness efforts, facilitated ongoing community engagement. Partner agencies also improved access to hard-to-reach populations.

Recommendations: Male-only clinics and gender-sensitive services remain central to the project; allowing men to reflect upon their masculinity and receive sensitization around gender equity and gender-based violence. Future activities will extend to additional communities; prison inmates, external health care providers, and underserved neighborhoods. Involvement of young people also contributes to a foundation for social change.

Learning Objectives:
By the end of this presentation, participants will be able to identify different strategies for involving men in their own sexual and reproductive health (SRH).

Keywords: Male Health, Gender

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a regional project manager for this initiative.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.