Improving Sexual Health and Well-Being of Young Men in Bangladesh and Kenya
KIT has teamed up with national researchers and partners to investigate the effectiveness of a new Motivational Intervention (MI+) approach. Our aim is to discover ways of motivating young men, specifically in Bangladesh and Kenya, to make safer choices about their sexual health and to equip service providers to better meet the needs of these young men.
New ways to engage men in sexual health
Young men are often absent in sexual reproductive health programmes, as health workers struggle to find the right way of approaching this group. Information and advice often end up being provided in a ‘moralising’ way.
Motivational Interviewing (MI) can help address this issue, as it offers service providers a way to work on engaging with young men’s individual motivation in order to change their behavior. It helps to explore and resolve any ambivalence these young men might have, and is thus more directly goal-oriented.
MI has been used to address other health-related issues. However, the successful application of it in the HIV/Sexual Reproductive Health domain among young men is limited. One reason for this could be that MI is mostly focused on the individual. Research has shown that sexual risk reduction interventions are (more) effective if behavioral individual level interventions are combined with group–level peer-led interventions addressing issues of intimacy, relationships, coping and communication skills.
The MI+ approach combines individual MI counselling with peer-led group activities. To see whether this new MI+ approach works, KIT in collaboration with national researchers conducts operational research which aims to answer the following questions:
- Are young men who have never used SRH services taking them up after MI+?
- Are the services better addressing the SRH needs and rights of young men?
- What lessons can be learned from this MI+ approach applied in two different contexts with two different target groups (young men in general, versus young male having sex with male (MSM)?