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Cult Health Sex. 2013;15 Suppl:22-33. doi: 10.1080/13691058.2012.754053. Epub 2012 Dec 19.

Sexual hazards, life experiences and social circumstances among male sex workers in Nigeria.

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International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University, The Hague, Netherlands.


The sexual health and rights needs of male sex workers in Nigeria remain poorly understood and served. Men who sell sex are at high risk of discrimination and violation because of laws criminalising same-sex activity and sex work. This paper examines the experiences, social circumstances, vulnerabilities and sexual hazards experienced by male sex workers in Nigeria. In-depth interviews were used to explore the experiences of six male sex workers who were selected by means of convenience sampling from among those who came for counselling. Findings reveal that economic disadvantage drives some men to engage in sex work and risky sexual behaviour. Subsequently, sex work may put their lives and health at risk as a result of violation by the police and clients, including ritual murder. Men's extreme vulnerability points to the need for appropriate interventions to improve well-being. Sexual health and rights programmes must identify ways of making male sex workers less vulnerable to abuse, and devise strategies for protecting their health and human rights, while empowering them economically to reduce their dependency on often risky sexual behaviour for livelihoods.

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