AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 22, Issue 5, pp 1662–1670 | Cite as

Sexual Stigma Patterns Among Nigerian Men Who Have Sex with Men and Their Link to HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infection Prevalence

  • Cristina Rodriguez-Hart
  • Rashelle Musci
  • Rebecca G. Nowak
  • Danielle German
  • Ifeanyi Orazulike
  • Uchenna Ononaku
  • Hongjie Liu
  • Trevor A. Crowell
  • Stefan Baral
  • Man Charurat
  • For the TRUST/RV368 Study Group
Original Paper


Sexual stigma facilitates the spread of HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) but little is known about stigma affecting Nigerian men who have sex with men (MSM). We assessed patterns of sexual stigma across Nigerian MSM and their relationship to HIV and STIs. Data were collected from the TRUST/RV368 Study, a prospective cohort of 1480 Nigerian MSM enrolled from March 2013 to February 2016 using respondent driven sampling. Structural equation modeling was utilized to assess the association between stigma classes and HIV and STI prevalence, adjusting for participants’ characteristics. A dose–response association was found between stigma class and HIV prevalence (27, 40, 55%, overall χ2 p < 0.001) and STI prevalence (15, 21, 24%, overall χ2 p = 0.011). These data suggest that stigma mitigation strategies, combined with increased engagement of MSM and retention in the HIV care continuum, need to be a component of interventions focused on reducing HIV transmission risks among MSM in Nigeria.


Men who have sex with men Stigma Latent class analysis HIV infections Sexually transmitted infections 



We are very grateful to the individuals who participated in this study, despite the sexual stigma they have experienced, as well as to the study staff who have remained dedicated to the mission of TRUST/RV368 throughout.


The views expressed are those of the authors and should not be construed to represent the positions of the U.S. Army, the Department of Defense, or the Department of Health and Human Services. The investigators have adhered to the policies for protection of human subjects as prescribed in AR-70.


This work was supported by a cooperative agreement (W81XWH-11-2-0174) between the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Inc., and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). This study is also supported by funds from the US National Institutes of Health under Award No. R01MH099001 and R01AI120913 and training grant T32 A1050056-12, the US Military HIV Research Program (Grant No. W81XWH-07-2-0067), Fogarty AITRP (D43TW01041), and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief through cooperative agreement U2G IPS000651 from the HHS/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Global AIDS Program with IHVN.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict to interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Approval for the study was obtained by the Federal Capital Territory Health Research Ethics Committee, the University of Maryland Baltimore Institutional Review Board (IRB), and the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research IRB.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cristina Rodriguez-Hart
    • 1
    • 2
  • Rashelle Musci
    • 2
  • Rebecca G. Nowak
    • 1
  • Danielle German
    • 2
  • Ifeanyi Orazulike
    • 3
  • Uchenna Ononaku
    • 1
  • Hongjie Liu
    • 4
  • Trevor A. Crowell
    • 5
    • 6
  • Stefan Baral
    • 2
  • Man Charurat
    • 1
  • For the TRUST/RV368 Study Group
  1. 1.Institute of Human VirologyUniversity of Maryland School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.International Center on Advocacy and Rights to HealthAbujaNigeria
  4. 4.University of Maryland School of Public HealthCollege ParkUSA
  5. 5.U.S. Military HIV Research ProgramWalter Reed Army Institute of ResearchSilver SpringUSA
  6. 6.Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military MedicineBethesdaUSA

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