SSMPA Implication on Human Rights and HIV Prevention Services
On the 7th of January 2014, the Nigeria President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan signed the same sex marriage law after the approval of the Federal House of Representative and Senate. These info-graphs provide a visual documentation of the impact of the law.
Since the signing of the law, the socio-political climate has become a lot more hostile towards same-sex loving people. From the highly negative public sentiments and statements to the overzealous brutality of both state and non-state actors, such as the police, the judiciary, and communities many LGBT people live in constant state of fear.
From January to June, TIERs and other organisations have documented over 45 human rights violations in different parts of Nigeria involving over 40 people. These cases demonstrate the increased risk and vulnerability of LGBT or perceived LGBT persons. For them, the fear of persecutions, police brutality and mob attacks are a daily reality.
Organisations working with sexual minorities came together to visualize the human rights violation they have documented in five states. The info-graphs presents the impact of the law on HIV prevention services for Men who sleep with men (MSM) offered by the five organisations. While some organisations recorded increase in service provision, majority recorded a reduction in service provision in the aftermath of the passage of the law.
For fear of reprisal, many LGBT persons have gone underground rather than coming forward to access HIV prevention and intervention services. This has massive implications in the government’s effort to stem the HIV pandemic sweeping the country. Lest we forget, Nigeria has the second highest rate of HIV/AIDS prevalent on the continent.
According to the 2010, Integrated Biological and Behavioural Surveillance survey (IBBSS), the HIV prevalence amongst MSM is 17.2% higher than any other key populations.
TIERs and other Sexual Health and Human Rights organisations in Nigeria will continue to highlight the human and health rights impact of the Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act (SSMPA).
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