Mobilizing MSM community in Nigeria to support rectal microbicides development

Published: July 19, 2011

Background: Currently in development, a Microbicides is a cream or gel, or maybe a douche or an enema that could be used to reduce a person’s risk of HIV infection vaginally or rectally. Research has shown that the virginal Microbicides may not prevent HIV infection when used rectally because of the disparity in the thickness of the virginal wall and the anal epithelium, hence the need for Rectal Microbicides development that would be used specifically for anal intercourse.

Methods: International Rectal Microbicides Advocates (IRMA) Nigeria, organized 2 day New HIV Prevention Technology (NPTs) training for 33 MSM in Abuja Nigeria. The aim of the training was to increase the awareness of the MSM community in Nigeria on NPTs, educate them on the need for Rectal Microbicides Development and mobilize them to support the research and development of Rectal Microbicides. Questionnaires were administered to determine participants’ knowledge and understanding of NPTs and Rectal Microbicides

Results: Participants were able to gain enhance knowledge on the need for Rectal Microbicides as a new HIV prevention technology. Over 70% of the participants were hearing about Microbicides and Rectal Microbicides for the first time, they also understood why MSM are 19 times more vulnerable to HIV infection than the heterosexual population. Over 45% of the participants agreed to be enrolled in Rectal Microbicides clinical trials if conducted in Nigeria.

Conclusion: Researchers in HIV prevention, NPTs researchers as well as the LGBTI community researchers need to periodically organize community literacy programs and trainings for specific population (MSM) for them to understand the need for and support the development of specific prevention technologies. E.g. Rectal Microbicides Development for the MSM community.

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