International AIDS Society


At the end of the day: findings from a multidisciplinary study of men who have sex with men (MSM) in Nigeria - phase I

D. Allman1, S. Adebajo1, T. Myers1, O. Odumuye2, S. Ogunsola3, S. Akanmu4, R.S. Remis1, M. Wawer5, R. Gray6, P. Sandstrom7, J. Payne8

Background: Little research exists regarding MSM and sexual risk in Nigeria. Prior to the rollout of a targeted HIV/STI prevalence study, in-depth focus groups were conducted with this population.

Methods: Structured focus groups incorporating anonymous questionnaires were conducted in secure locations in Nigeria. Male participants were recruited by word-of-mouth. Quantitative data were analyzed with SPSS. Qualitative analysis located thematic dimensions within focus group transcriptions, which pertained to knowledge, attitudes, sexual activity, health care including HIV testing, and social, cultural and religious norms.

Results: Five focus groups were conducted with a total of 58 men. Mean age was 27 years (range 16 - 58); 60% had post-secondary education; 56% were employed full or part-time; 48% were students; 83% were Christian; 16% were Muslim; 66% self-identified as bisexual; 31% as homosexual; 95% reported sex with a man in the previous 6 months, and of these, 44% reported sex with women in the same time frame. The participants┬┤ experiences were diverse, with ethnic, religious and class distinctions strongly structuring sexual expression. MSM community networks were hidden, with social activities taking place in non-commercial, private venues. Understandings of HIV, safer sex practices and related issues were low and frequently misguided. Access to HIV testing was seldom available and treatment for those infected with HIV was wholly inaccessible.

Conclusions: The realities with regards to HIV risk for MSM and
inevitably their sexual partners in Nigeria are critical. Socially ostracized by culture, religion, and political will, the risks embodied within same-sex activity are high. While levels of education and employment were notable, access to HIV-specific resources for prevention and care were virtually nonexistent. The implications for public health policy within a nation which is culturally rich and religiously devout are complex, yet these research findings suggest that immediate action is vital to mitigate the impacts of HIV and AIDS.

AIDS 2006 - XVI International AIDS Conference
Abstract no. WEPE0644

Suggested Citation
"D.Allman, et al. At the end of the day: findings from a multidisciplinary study of men who have sex with men (MSM) in Nigeria - phase I. : AIDS 2006 - XVI International AIDS Conference: Abstract no. WEPE0644"