Introduction: There is a general recognition of homosexuality being responsible for the high prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) among inmates in Nigerian prisons. This is against the background of seven years imprisonment stipulated for any person with carnal knowledge of same sex practice in the section 214 of the Nigerian penal code. To reduce HIV infection in the general population, attention has been focused recently on the promotion of abstinence, faithfulness to one sexual partner and consistent use of condoms. However, the use of condoms in Nigerian prisons is unacceptable due to socio-cultural reasons. This study assessed the ethical issues and inmate’s perception on condom distribution in Nigerian prisons.
Methods and materials: A qualitative cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted in Zaria prison between December 2012 and January, 2013. Purposive sampling identified 48 inmates who had focused group discussions and in-depth interviews. Common trends and variation in the responses were identified and reﬂected as appropriate and presented as a narrative with relevant quotations. Te inmate’s opinion was compared with the legal provision of the
federal republic of Nigeria and that of the developed countries.
Results: Te majority of the respondents agreed that homosexuality exists among the inmates, but all the inmates scowled at the distribution of condoms to inmates in prison, since condom distribution will promote homosexuality, which is prohibited by Nigerian laws. However, access to condom use in prison; a reproductive health right of every individual is acceptable in some countries.
Conclusions: There is an ambiguity in the interpretation of reproductive right and socio-cultural factors, by inmates, since majority of them opined that what opens opportunities for good condom usage also incorporate opportunities for evil. Therefore, determining what is good and bad becomes a balancing act and subject to periodic review.