Male sex work in Nigeria: A population-based estimate of a hidden and vulnerable population
Poster presentation at the XVIII International AIDS Conference, Vienna, 21 July
Karlyn,Andrew; Adebajo,Sylvia; Nwachukwo,Emeka; Tocco,Jack; Abiodun,Lolade; Anene,Oliver; Ojiyoma,D.; Sangowawa,Segun; Kellerman,Scott E.
Publication date: 2010
Male sex workers (MSWs) are a highly marginalized population in Nigeria. Stigma, secrecy, and HIV risk are highly associated with this lifestyle. In Nigeria, studies show HIV prevalence for MSM at 13.5 percent, and over 30 percent among the subset of MSWs. Little is known about the locations and size of this population; and a lack of information necessary to shape interventions and conduct effective advocacy with policymakers and practitioners.
A population-based enumeration of MSW using the "capture-recapture" methodology was conducted in two Nigerian cities, Lagos and Kano, in 2009. Two teams of field enumerators known to the MSM community mapped hotspots where MSWs and clients congregate on two successive weekend nights over a one-week interval. Enumerators approached consenting individuals in the locations and inquired whether they accept money or goods in exchange for sex with another man. If yes, a key chain "tag" was offered. The same procedure was followed on the subsequent visit, allowing the team to determine the number of new "captures" and repeat "recaptures" per location.
On any given Friday night in Lagos, an estimated 865 (95% CI: 707-1023) men are willing to engage in sex for money or goods with other men. In Kano on any given Saturday night, 641 (95% CI: 577-705) men are willing to engage in sex for money or goods with other men.
MSWs are a visible and significant community in Nigeria. With careful planning and sensitive intervention strategies, MSWs can be effectively engaged through prevention, care, and support programs. However, location-based MSW studies capture only part of the picture. Further in-depth study is needed to engage this community effectively.