41 year old Annobil (not real name) is a gay man and an LGBT healthcare advocate. Multiple times he has been attacked and forced to relocate because his community suspected him of being gay. Annobil is HIV positive. He recounts when he first was tested: “I didn't know anything before I get a test… The first day I went to do that test was not easy because it was really, really, really, hell. But after they done the test, it said I'm positive, I said it's okay.” Despite the difficult experience, Annobil says he has hope of living a full life. He says that it isn’t HIV that is the real threat, but the stigma of being LGBT and the stigma of being HIV positive. He says that health providers need to provide care and not stigmatize HIV positive men who have sex with men. The stigma from them leads to people staying away from the health centers, which leads to people becoming sicker: “Stigma is killing people in our community because… people point fingers at him that this is who you are. So the stigma alone are killin' us. And we decided that we need to change our attitudes toward the MSM people or the positive ones. Because we all human being. If we are positive, that doesn't mean you word is at end. You have life. So the nurses should rather help us so that we can get care from them. 'cause when I go there you don't give me care, then better I stay home and die 'cause I don't want anybody to know. So if I stay home and die, I'm gone.” Ghana, Accra. 13 March, 2018. Photo Robin Hammond/Witness Change

Annobil /

“My name is Annobil, am 41 years of age. When I was 8 years of age I used to play with the girls a lot, so due to that people started call me names like kojo besia (Man-Woman) then from there I decided to play with the boys at the age of 10 years because of stigma attached to me playing a lot with the girls. This time from there, guys never stopped, but rather forced myself been with them for more than two years.

One of the guys I play with approached me and started to have sexual contact. This continue until the age of 15 years. But that I never knew anything that I was doing. In the year 1992 I move to one of the town in central Ghana because then I leave in a village. From there I came to Accra the capital city of Ghana. Because my sexuality I move with a lot of MSM’s. Community I live in got to know what I do and attacked me. I went to a party on my return, Two guys within my community attacked me and beat me up because they think I am gay. I then move from that community because I don’t want to attack again.

I’ve do that too, one guy want my parent to disclose to them I am a gay. This guy tried to attack me whenever we meet for good Two year. Then I move again and change my contacts.”

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