Young Nigerian Gay Men And MSM : A Qualitative Study

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This qualitative study with a sample of young Nigerian gay men and MSM describes the barriers encountered in accessing and utilizing HIV/AIDS and STI services, the unmet needs in service delivery and the priority recommendations to scale up HIV/STI services. Through personal experiences and accounts from participants, this study provides an in-depth illustration on barriers and health gaps faced by gay men and MSM in homophobic settings. In identifying the barriers to HIV/STI service access and utilization, six themes emerged: 1) Breach of confidentiality by health care providers and the MSM community; 2) HIV status disclosure “Gossip” within the MSM community; 3) lack of knowledge about HIV transmission and available resources for …show more content…

2007, Allman , et al. 2007, Wirtz, et al. 2014) that identified the challenges of gay men and MSM in accessing HIV/AIDS and STI services. This clearly underscores the urgent need for HIV/AIDS and sexual health services for gay men and MSM.

Punitive laws and criminalization of same-sex relationships has fueled social stigmatization of gay men and MSM (Altman, et al. 2012). The potential for stigma and discrimination discourages these populations from seeking HIV/AIDS and health related services, which further increases their vulnerability to mental health issues and HIV/AIDS and STI infections, loss of livelihood, destitution, and poverty, and exposes them to an increased risk of loss of life. Previous studies reported a high level of stigma (Crowell, et al. 2017, Stahlman, et al. 2017) verbal abuse, and violence among MSM. Similarly, our study shows that gay men and MSM who disclose sexual orientation to family and friends were subjected to blackmail, physical and emotional violence. Our study findings indicate that it is essential that homosexual acts are decriminalized and progressive policies around access to HIV/AIDS and sexual health are championed in order to ensure that same-sex communities are empowered to utilize health services.

Mental health and low self-esteem is not new to the gay and MSM population. In this study, gay and MSM reported an increased vulnerability to low self-esteem and low confidence because of stigma and discrimination from

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