HIV and sexually transmitted infections among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Nigeria

Published: August 1, 2008

HIV and sexually transmitted infections among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Nigeria

Background: The epidemiology of HIV/STIs among MSM remains understudied in much of sub-Saharan Africa. This report presents the results of the first sero-epidemiological study of MSM in Nigeria and factors associated with HIV, syphilis and hepatitis B/C prevalence.

Methods: Men who self-identified as MSM were recruited from two metropolitan cities in South West Nigeria using Respondent Driven Sampling. Data were collected using interviewer-administered standardized questionnaires. For men who consented, venous blood was collected and tested for HIV, syphilis, hepatitis B and C.

Results: 1125 MSM were recruited between April and July 2006. The median age of first sex with a woman was 16.7±3.5yrs and 17.7±3.9yrs with a man. Prevalence of HIV was 13.4%, and the prevalence of syphilis, hepatitis B and hepatitis C were 0.3%, 11.7% and 3.2% respectively. HIV positive men were significantly older (27.4±5.31) than uninfected MSM (22.9±4.2) (p<0.0001). HIV prevalence was associated with having higher education (OR 1.74 [CI 95%1.22-2.49]; being employed (OR 3.13 [CI 95%2.16-4.53]; being non-Nigerian (OR 3.80 [CI 95%1.09-13.1]; being married (OR 4.46 [CI 95%2.04-9.72]; having sexual relationships with MSM outside the tribe (OR 1.74 [CI 95%1.22-2.49]; and having sex with uncircumcised men (OR 1.74 [CI 95%1.22-2.49]. Only 6.2% were aware of their HIV positive status prior to our study. Most respondents (72.4%) reported vaginal or anal sex with women in their lifetime and 50% in the previous 12 months. Condom use was low both with men and their female partners.

Conclusions: This study confirms high levels of HIV and other STIs among MSM in Nigeria. The prevalence of HIV among study participants was 3.5 times higher than the reported national prevalence in Nigeria. HIV Preventive intervention programs targeting this population are urgently needed given the high vulnerability and the high proportion who engage in unprotected sex with both men and women.

-Abstract available at link below-

Leave a Reply