PREVALENCE OF HIV AND PATTERN OF SEXUAL PRACTICES AMONG MSM: A CROSSSECTIONAL STUDY IN CALABAR, NIGERIA
Keywords:Human Immunodeficiency Virus, Men who Sleep with Men, Calabar, Nigeria
Background: The pandemic of HIV has persisted for over three decades now, without a definite cure or vaccine. Sub-populations at higher risk of infection, such as Men who Sleep with Men (MSM), may be constituting a nidus for disease transmission, posing difficulty in its sustainable containment. Socioculturally-mediated fear, stigma and discrimination associated with their constitutionally illegal status in many settings, may have contributed to the current state of paucity of literature on the epidemiology of STDs among MSM in many settings. This study was therefore aimed at assessing prevalence of HIV and pattern of sexual practices among MSM in Calabar, Nigeria.
Methods: Snow-ball sampling technique was used to recruit subjects, with researcher administration of structured questionnaire to obtain quantitative data. Ethical approval was obtained from the UCTH ethical committee.
Results: Fifty-two (52) respondents were surveyed, with mean age of 22.4 ± 3.17 years, ranging from 17 to 31 years. Twenty seven subjects (51.9%) were bisexual, and the commonest MSM type was inserter only (27, 51.9%). Seven (7) subjects had positive on-the-spot HIV test result, yielding a prevalence rate of 13.5%. Fourteen (26.9%) and nine (17.3%) subjects, were consistent with use of condom, and use of lubricant during sexual intercourse, respectively. Forty-four subjects (84.6%) admitted ever having casual sexual intercourse. Conclusion: There is high prevalence of HIV and risky sexual practices among MSM in Nigeria. There is need to redouble our effort at accessing MSM for consistent provision of health education and other HIV prevention services.