Nigeria’s conflicting message on HIV, homophobia (excerpt)

By Nnamdi Eseme

Nigeria's location in Africa

Nigeria’s location in Africa

In Nigeria since the introduction of an anti-homosexuality law in 2014 which criminalises LGBT people, increasing homophobia has been having a negative impact on the HIV response.

According to Premium Times, the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act has resulted in an increase in violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people (LGBT), including police brutality.

Effanga (name changed), 29, from Cross River, is a man who has sex with men. He says: “Because of the government’s homophobic law, most of us cannot access health services even though we are at a higher risk of HIV. We are afraid of being arrested and thrown into jail as the law sees us as criminals. So, we do not disclose our sexual preference to health workers.”

On International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (17 May), activists are putting the spotlight on this discriminatory law which violates human rights, and creates barriers to LGBT people accessing HIV prevention and treatment services.

In Nigeria, according to the UNAIDS Gap Report, 10 per cent of all new HIV infections are in men who have sex with men, and 17 per cent of men who have sex with men are living with HIV. The report also states that men who have sex with men are 19 times more likely to be infected with HIV than other adult men. …

Read the full article: Nigerian laws give conflicting message on HIV and homophobia  in Key Correspondents.

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