South Africa: Pretoria introduces healthcare centre for gay and bisexual men

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The city of Pretoria in South Africa has introduced a healthcare practice for gay and bisexual men as an alternative to “abusive” general facilities.

The Times Live reports the Ten81 Medical Practice features a HIV and STD specialist nurse as well as a doctor who is an expert in sexual health.

Director Dawie Nel said gay and bisexual men stopped seeking medical attention from general healthcare centres after experiencing abuse and stigma.

He said: “A general practitioner is wired to examine the vagina to check for signs of sexually transmitted disease. They assume no one has anal sex. That is where we focus.”

Gerard Damstra, the clinic’s nurse, said he had seen patients who were “broken” by judgmental healthcare since the clinic opened a month ago.

“They are told they are sinners and asked why they were having sex with other men. This results in a devastated person, mentally and physically, without anybody to talk to about their sexuality,” he said.

The clinic also offers HIV treatment as well as post- and pre-exposure prophylaxis treatment, in which ARV drugs are administered to those at risk.

In June, South Africa’s most senior judge who believes “a man should marry a woman” vowed to protect the rights of all gay citizens.

South Africa became the first and so far only country in Africa to legalise same-sex marriage in 2006.