High HIV Prevalence Among Men Who Have Sex With Men in Nigeria: Implications for Combination Prevention

June 2013 - Combination Prevention

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Vu, L., Adebajo, S., Tun, W., et al. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (June 2013), Vol. 63 No. 2, pp. 221-227.

The authors of this study aimed to provide HIV prevalence estimates and understand risk factors of men who have sex with men (MSM) in Abuja, Ibadan, and Lagos, Nigeria. The results indicated a high HIV burden among MSM: 4 to 10 times the general HIV prevalence. MSM also reported risky sexual behaviors, yet many had never tested for HIV (44, 68, and 62 percent in Abuja, Ibadan and Lagos, respectively). In total, 712 participants in Abuja (n=194), Lagos (n=308), and Ibadan (n=210) were interviewed between August and September 2010. Population-based HIV estimates among MSM were 35 percent (Abuja), 11 percent (Ibadan), and 15 percent (Lagos). More MSM reported having sex with both men and women in Ibadan and Lagos than in Abuja. Approximately 20 to 30 percent and over 50 percent of MSM reported multiple female and multiple male partners, respectively. Unprotected intercourse was common. In Lagos, one-third of MSM reported that their last male sexual partner had been a commercial sex worker, and over half of MSM reported transactional sex in the past six months. A comprehensive combination prevention approach, including structural interventions to build a supportive and less homophobic environment will be essential to mitigate HIV among MSM, their female partners, and hidden MSM subgroups. The authors advocated considering antiretroviral-based prevention and decriminalization of same-sex relationships.

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