The prevalence of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is about four times higher among individuals with same-sex orientation as against the general population. This may be partly due to judgmental, heteronormative attitudes among health workers, thereby affecting access to care. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to assess the perception of final-year medical students of Olabisi Onabanjo University, Nigeria on sexual orientation and its implications on access to HIV care and support services.
A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted among final-year medical students. Data were collected using an interviewer-administered questionnaire and analyzed using SPSS 20. Relevant descriptive and inferential statistics were calculated. Participation was fully voluntary.
More males (70 percent) were aware of the concept of sexual orientation than females (60.4 percent). Most (94 percent) males and all female respondents felt homosexuality was against the order of nature. More males (76 percent) than females (62.3 percent) felt men having sex with men and homosexuality were synonymous. More females (50.9 percent) than males (48 percent) felt gay doctors should not be employed in public hospitals.
Respondents had a poor perception of sexual orientation and there were no significant differences between genders. This could contribute to existing stigmatization against individuals with minority sexual orientations. It should be addressed in the medical curriculum.
The authors declare no conflict of interest. The study was entirely self-funded by the authors.
Sholeye, O., Animasahun, V. and Oyelekan, A. (2018), "Medical students’ perception of sexual orientation in Sagamu, southwestern Nigeria: implications for access to HIV care", International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare, Vol. 11 No. 5, pp. 347-355. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJHRH-10-2017-0066Download as .RIS
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