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Demographic and Sexual Behavior Characteristics of Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM) Registered in a Targeted Intervention (TI) Program in India

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DOI: 10.4236/wja.2015.53029    3,751 Downloads   4,290 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Background: Men who have sex with men (MSM) contribute substantially to HIV prevalence in India. The targeted intervention (TI) program is the most important link between MSM and the public health system. Hence, we studied the demographic and sexual behavior characteristics of MSM registered in TI program in India. Methods: We used information maintained at TI sites under the program catering exclusively to MSM in India. Demographic characteristics and sexual behavior of MSM over the past two decades were also studied. Risk behaviors included type of partners, alcohol use, sexual acts per week, years of sex work and age at initiation of sex work. Bivariate analysis was carried out to understand the demographic determinants of sexual behavior. Results: In total, data of 6037 MSMs from 14 TI sites were analyzed. Of these 4655 (73.8%) were young adults (<35 years) and 2565 (40.8%) had completed their matriculation. More than half (55.4%) were married. Double-decker was identified as the most common sub-typology among MSM. Average age of initiation of sex was 23.0 years and average number of sexual acts per week was 6.8 (95% CI: 6.8 - 7.0). Irregular partners and alcohol use were observed in 30.5% and 52.8% of MSM respectively. Cohort analysis revealed a statistically significant declining trend in average age of initiation of sex over the past two decades. The sexual behavior of MSM varied significantly by employment status, education, marital status, state of residence, alcohol use and type of sex partner. Conclusion: MSMs registered with the TI program in India were mostly young, educated, and employed. Many MSM also had a history of heterosexual relationships, and thus had the potential of transmitting HIV infection to the otherwise low risk general population. This analysis supports the use of TI program data for understanding the demographic and sexual behavior characteristics of hard to reach and stigmatized population in society.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Salve, H. , Rai, S. , Kant, S. , Raj, Y. and Reddy, D. (2015) Demographic and Sexual Behavior Characteristics of Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM) Registered in a Targeted Intervention (TI) Program in India. World Journal of AIDS, 5, 256-264. doi: 10.4236/wja.2015.53029.

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