The POP INN Clinics offer free sexual health services to Gay, Bisexual, Queer, Men who have Sex with Men (MSM) and Transgender People (TG) in 5 districts across South Africa.
The Clinics provide a safe space for Key Populations Communities to receive counselling, screening for HIV, STIs, and TB, receive PrEP or ART, and to receive psychosocial support services inclusive of gender-affirming health care and hormonal therapy.
The Clinics also provide free Wi-Fi access, computers, and a comfortable space to relax and connect with peers.
The POP INN Clinics were developed as a tailored response to the unique health care and psycho-social needs of MSM and TGW individuals.
Mainstream services do not cater to Key Populations’ needs, which is further compounded by stigma and a lack of awareness of LGBTQI+ health needs.
The need for community-led healthcare response and prevention interventions provides a much-needed avenue for safe and stigma-free healthcare for our community members.
Access to healthcare is problematic due to the increased incidence of stigma towards MSM and TG in “normal” clinic environments. MSM and TG do not have the same access to care, in proportion with their need in both urban and rural areas. This is due to increased and persistent levels of stigma and discrimination in social and health care settings across South Africa, which discourages our KP communities from accessing or seeking healthcare services.
In addition, cultural stigma also prevents MSM and TG from self-identifying as MSM and TG when seeking services, as there are by and large a limited number of services that cater for MSM and TG needs.
In response to the unmet needs of our KP communities, The Aurum Institute established four POP INN Clinics.
The POP INN Centres cater for the speciﬁc needs of our MSM and TG communities and fosters a greater sense of belonging and acceptance. Our sites are managed and operated by MSM and TG of the community.
“Coming from a family where no one is working and with no money for data. I have been able to apply for jobs using the office Wi-Fi. I was shortlisted at a call centre and used the office to scan my documents and send after being accepted. Access to Wi-Fi has assisted me in getting a job and being able to now take care of myself and family.”
“This is a space where I get to be myself. Even when I am sad I do not hide my feelings here as it feels like home. It where I get to be honest about who I am and how I feel. It a place where I am able to breathe and let loose.”
“I have been on prep since early 2019 and I will not stop prep as it serves as a sense of security for me and makes me feel like I am in control of my health. All the staff members are welcoming and the case manager makes sure to call me for my appointment in case I forget. I do not see myself stopping prep anytime soon.”
“The reimbursement for transport assist in us being able to make it to the office for our session. If we did not have it we would not be able to come and socialise, learn and support one another.”
“Starting ART at the facility has made life easy for me as a hidden MSM because the space is never full and I will not be bumping into my neighbours. Even during the strict COVID-19 movements the staff came to my place to give me my drugs and ensure I have access. My experience with pop inn have been nothing short of amazing.”