HIV intervention amongst the MSM community in Nigeria

Published: August 1, 2008

HIV intervention amongst the MSM community in Nigeria

Issues: In Nigeria, MSM have been criminalized by law. In addition, Feb. 2007 a bill aimed at criminalizing same sex sexual relationship was debated in the National Assembly though the bill did not see the light of the day. In Nigeria, MSM has been perceived as a major factor militating against the progress in combating HIV/AIDS in country. Despite this acknowledgment, there has been little or no effort to extend HIV/AIDS prevention education to the MSM community in the country. The Independent Project (TIP) Nigeria an organization based in the, Lagos state, Nigeria, took up the responsibility to address the HIV/AIDS information need of this marginalized member of the sexual minority group.

Description: TIP reaches out to MSM at “Hot Spots” and parties where MSM meet to engage in sexual intercourse. At these cruising venues, TIP give talks educating MSM about the risk of unprotected sexual intercourse, demonstrate the appropriate usage of condom, distribute condoms and lubricants, and share informative, educative and communicative materials that further update MSM about HIV and AIDS issues. In addition, TIP visits clinics where PLWH receive treatment with the aim of enabling a MSM friendly health clinic for MSM who are already HIV positive.

Lessons learned:
• A significant figure of MSM in Lagos state, Nigeria, has low level of HIV/AIDS information.
• Having talk shows about HIV at parties is not absolutely effective as participants are mostly in a party mood and not in a listening mood.

Next steps:
• In the next years policy advocacy should be the major objective of organizations working on MSM issues in Nigeria.
• International donor agencies are advised to support MSM/HIV initiatives of organizations working on MSM issues in Nigeria regardless of registration status as an NGO which has been threatened by the legal status of MSM in the country.

-Abstract available at link below-

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