AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 21, Issue 11, pp 3068–3077 | Cite as

Online Sex-Seeking Among Men who have Sex with Men in Nigeria: Implications for Online Intervention

  • Shauna Stahlman
  • Rebecca G. Nowak
  • Hongjie Liu
  • Trevor A. Crowell
  • Sosthenes Ketende
  • William A. Blattner
  • Manhattan E. Charurat
  • Stefan D. Baral
  • on behalf of the TRUST/RV368 Study Group
Original Paper


The TRUST/RV368 project was undertaken to apply innovative strategies to engage Nigerian MSM into HIV care. In this analysis we evaluate characteristics of online sex-seekers from the TRUST/RV368 cohort of 1370 MSM in Abuja and Lagos. Logistic regression and generalized estimating equation models were used to assess associations with online sex-seeking. Online sex-seeking (n = 843, 61.5 %) was associated with participation in MSM community activities, larger social and sexual networks, and higher levels of sexual behavior stigma. In addition, online sex-seeking was associated with testing positive for HIV at a follow-up visit [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 2.02, 95 % confidence interval (CI) = 1.37, 2.98)] among those who were unaware of or not living with HIV at baseline. Across visits, online sex-seekers were marginally more likely to test positive for chlamydia/gonorrhea (aOR 1.28, 95 % CI 0.99, 1.64). Online sex-seekers in Nigeria are at increased risk for HIV/STIs but may not be benefiting from Internet-based risk reduction opportunities.


HIV STIs MSM Internet sex partners Africa 



The study team would like to acknowledge the participants for taking part in this study given the significant stigma that exists affecting gay men and other men who have sex with men in Nigeria. We would also like to acknowledge Sara Kennedy for her leadership support in implementing the study. Marcy Gelman and Dr. Kevin Kapila from Fenway Health and Dr. Syliva Adebajo from the Population Council Nigeria completed training to increase the cultural and clinical competency of study and clinical staff for the TRUST Study. In addition, Ashley Grosso supported instrument development, and Erin Papworth provided training on respondent-driven method implementation.

Principal Investigators

William Blattner and Man Charurat (IHV, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD, USA).


Alash’le Abimiku, Sylvia Adebajo, Julie Ake, Stefan Baral, Trevor Crowell, Charlotte Gaydos, Babajide Keshinro, Jerome Kim, Hongie Liu, Jennifer Malia, Nelson Michael, Ogbonnaya Njoku, Rebecca Nowak, Helen Omuh, Ifeanyi Orazulike, Sheila Peel, Merlin Robb, Cristina Rodriguez-Hart, Sheree Schwartz.


Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (IHV-UMB), Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHSPH), Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, U.S. Military HIV Research Program (MHRP), Department of Defense, Walter Reed Program, Nigeria (WRP), Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN), International Centre for Advocacy for the Right to Health (ICARH), The Initiative for Equal Rights (TIER), Population Council (Pop Council).


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 other funders.


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. R01MH099001-01, 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. In addition, this work was supported by The American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) and the Johns Hopkins University Center for AIDS Research (P30AI094189).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflicts of Interest

The authors do not have any conflicts of interest to declare.

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.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shauna Stahlman
    • 1
  • Rebecca G. Nowak
    • 2
  • Hongjie Liu
    • 3
  • Trevor A. Crowell
    • 4
    • 5
  • Sosthenes Ketende
    • 1
  • William A. Blattner
    • 2
  • Manhattan E. Charurat
    • 2
  • Stefan D. Baral
    • 1
  • on behalf of the TRUST/RV368 Study Group
  1. 1.Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Center for Public Health and Human RightsJohns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Division of Epidemiology and Prevention, Institute of Human VirologyUniversity of MarylandBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public HealthUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA
  4. 4.U.S. Military HIV Research ProgramWalter Reed Army Institute of ResearchSilver SpringUSA
  5. 5.Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Inc.BethesdaUSA

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