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LGBT Health. 2016 Aug;3(4):300-7. doi: 10.1089/lgbt.2015.0061. Epub 2016 Apr 19.

Provision of Healthcare Services to Men Who Have Sex with Men in Nigeria: Students' Attitudes Following the Passage of the Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Law.

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1 Department of Community Health and Primary Care, College of Medicine, University of Lagos , Lagos, Nigeria .
2 Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, University of Birmingham , Birmingham, United Kingdom .
3 Health Services Management Centre, School of Social Policy, University of Birmingham , Birmingham, United Kingdom .
4 Department of Clinical Services, Nigerian Institute of Medical Research , Lagos, Nigeria .
5 Department of Medicine, University of Jos , Plateau State, Nigeria .
6 Department of Internal Medicine, Capital Health Regional Medical Center , Trenton, New Jersey.



After signing of the Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act 2013 in Nigeria, media reports portray widespread societal intolerance toward the lesbian, gay, and bisexual population. This study was conducted to assess the attitudes of university undergraduates in Lagos state, Nigeria, toward provision of healthcare services for men who have sex with men (MSM), because the 2014 same-sex marriage prohibition law stipulates a jail sentence for organizations providing services to MSM.


A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted by using self-administered questionnaires to collect information, including homophobic attitudes and views on access to healthcare, from 4000 undergraduates in 10 randomly selected faculties in two universities. During analysis, inter-university and inter-faculty comparison was carried out between medical and nonmedical students.


Outright denial of healthcare services to MSM was supported by 37.6% of the 3537 undergraduates who responded, whereas denial of HIV prevention services was supported by 32.5%. However, compared with 38.7% and 34.1% of undergraduates from other faculties, 23.7% and 18.2% of medical students agreed that healthcare providers should not provide services to MSM and that MSM should not have access to HIV prevention services, respectively (Pā€‰=ā€‰0.000). Although a significant proportion of the medical students supported the statement that doctors and other healthcare workers should be compelled to give priority to other groups before MSM (29.4% of medical vs. 47.2% of students from other faculties), a statistically significant difference was observed between the two groups of students. The homophobic statement with the highest support was that doctors and healthcare workers should be compelled to report MSM who come to access treatment (48.1% of medical vs. 57.4% of students from other faculties).


A very high proportion of the undergraduate students had a negative attitude toward provision of healthcare services to MSM in Nigeria; the medical students were, however, less homophobic than their nonmedical counterparts. If attitudes translate to a lack of healthcare service provision to MSM, with the high burden of HIV among MSM in Nigeria, it is unlikely that the country will achieve the UNAIDS 90-90-90 target of 90% of the population knowing their HIV status, 90% of people living with HIV receiving sustained antiretroviral medication, and 90% of those receiving antiretroviral medication having viral suppression by 2020.


attitudes; healthcare; men who have sex with men (MSM); undergraduates.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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