Majority of Nigerians think LGBTI people should not have access to basic healthcare
A new survey suggests that the majority of people in Nigeria do not believe that LGBTI people should have access to basic health services.
Conducted on behalf of Nigerian human rights organization the Initiative for Equal Rights, the survey also shows that 90 percent of respondents support the introduction of a 2014 Act prohibiting gay marriage. This is a slight increase over the previous year’s survey.
Violating the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act can carry a 14-year jail sentence. It also bans LGBTI people from organizing meetings or forming associations, with associated penalties of up to ten years in prison.
Additionally, it was found that although younger Nigerians are more likely than older adults to be accepting of friends or family who are LGBTI, they are more likely than older Nigerians to support the 2014 Act.
Dele Fatunla, the director of research and knowledge management of the initiative, said:
“The fear of stigmatisation and prejudice means many LGBTI people who need access to healthcare, particularly sexual health services, do not access them for fear of having to disclose their sexuality.”
He added that the 2014 marriage ban has also made it hard for health providers to reach LGBTI populations at risk of contracting HIV.
“We know some providers reported stopping their services for fear of falling foul of the law,” he said.