HIV and AIDS Program

Delhi, India

HIV and AIDS Program

Delhi, India
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Ganju D.,HIV and AIDS Program | Saggurti N.,HIV and AIDS Program
Culture, Health and Sexuality | Year: 2017

Among marginalised groups in India, HIV prevalence is highest among transgender persons; however, little is known about their HIV vulnerability. This study describes transgender sex workers’ experiences of stigma and violence, a key driver of the HIV epidemic, and explores their coping responses. In-depth interviews were conducted with 68 respondents in Maharashtra state, India. Findings show that respondents face pervasive stigma and violence due to multiple marginalised social identities (transgender status, sex work, gender non-conformity), which reinforce and intersect with social inequities (economic and housing insecurity, employment discrimination, poverty), fuelling HIV vulnerability at the micro, meso and macro levels. Several factors, such as felt and internalised stigma associated with psycho-social distress and low self-efficacy to challenge abuse and negotiate condom use; clients’ power in sexual transactions; establishing trust in regular partnerships through condomless sex; norms condoning violence against gender non-conforming persons; lack of community support; police harassment; health provider discrimination and the sex work environment create a context for HIV vulnerability. In the face of such adversity, respondents adopt coping strategies to shift power relations and mobilise against abuse. Community mobilisation interventions, as discussed in the paper, offer a promising vulnerability reduction strategy to safeguard transgender sex workers’ rights and reduce HIV vulnerability. © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

Bharat S.,Tata Institute of Social Sciences | Mahapatra B.,HIV and AIDS Program | Roy S.,Tata Institute of Social Sciences | Saggurti N.,HIV and AIDS Program
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Introduction:Condom promotion among female sex workers (FSWs) is a key intervention in India's National AIDS Control Program. However, there is limited understanding of how FSWs negotiate condom use with male clients, particularly in the context of their mobility for sex work. The objective of this study is to examine the factors associated with the mobile FSWs' ability to refuse unsafe sex and successfully negotiate condom use with unwilling male clients.Methods:Data for 5498 mobile FSWs from a cross-sectional survey conducted in 22 districts of four states in southern India were analyzed. Questions assessed FSWs' ability to refuse clients unprotected sex, convince unwilling clients for condom use and negotiate condom use in a new location. Logistic regression models were constructed to examine the association between socio-demographics, economic vulnerability, sex work practice, and program exposure and condom negotiation ability.Results:A majority of FSWs (60%) reported the ability to refuse clients for unprotected sex, but less than one-fifth reported the ability to successfully convince an unwilling client to use a condom or to negotiate condom use in a new site. Younger and older mobile FSWs compared to those who were in the middle age group, those with longer sex work experience, with an income source other than sex work, with program exposure and who purchased condoms for use, reported the ability to refuse unprotected sex, to successfully negotiate condom use with unwilling clients and to do so at new sites.Conclusion:FSWs need to be empowered to not only refuse unprotected sex but also to be able to motivate and convince unwilling clients for condom use, including those in new locations. In addition to focusing on condom promotion, interventions must address the factors that impact FSWs' ability to negotiate condom use. © 2013 Bharat et al.

Saggurti N.,HIV and AIDS Program | Mahapatra B.,HIV and AIDS Program | Sabarwal S.,HIV and AIDS Program | Ghosh S.,Ministry of Health and Family Welfare | Johri A.,Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Introduction: Thus far, the reasons for increasing HIV prevalence in northern and eastern Indian states are unknown. We investigated the role of male out-migration in the spread of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection through a case-control study in rural India. Methods: Currently married men and women were recruited from HIV testing and treatment centers across seven selected districts with high rates of male out-migration in eastern and northern India in 2010 using a case-control study design. Case subjects (men: 595, women: 609) were people who tested HIV seropositive and control subjects (men: 611, women: 600) were those tested HIV seronegative. For each gender, we obtained adjusted odds ratios (AORs) and population attributable risks (PARs) for migration, and behavioral factors. Results: For men, the prevalence of HIV was significantly higher among those with a migration history (AOR, 4·4); for women, the prevalence of HIV was higher among those with migrant husbands (AOR, 2·3). For both genders, the returned male migration (men: AOR, 3·7; women: AOR, 2·8) was significantly associated with higher prevalence of HIV infection. The PAR associated with male migration was higher for men (54·5%-68·6%) than for women (32·7%-56·9%) across the study areas. Discussion: Male out-migration is the most important risk factor influencing the spread of HIV infection in rural areas with high out-migration rates, thereby emphasizing the need for interventions, particularly, for returned migrants and spouses of those migrants. © 2012 Saggurti et al.

Vu L.,HIV and AIDS Program | Andrinopoulos K.,Tulane University | Mathews C.,Health Systems Research Unit | Mathews C.,University of Cape Town | And 3 more authors.
AIDS and Behavior | Year: 2012

This study examines factors influencing HIV sero-status disclosure to sex partners among a sample of 630 HIV-infected men and women with recent sexual contact attending anti-retroviral therapy (ART) clinics in Cape Town, South Africa, with a focus on sex partner type, HIVrelated stigma, and ART as potential correlates. About 20% of the sample had not disclosed their HIV status to their most recent sex partners. HIV disclosure to sex partner was more likely among participants who had a steady sex partner [Adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 2.7; 95% CI: 1.6-4.6], had a partner with known-HIV status [AOR = 7.8; 95% CI: 3.2-18.7]; perceived less stigma [AOR = 1.9; 95% CI: 1.2-2.9]; and were on ART [AOR = 1.6; 95% CI: 1.1-2.3]. Stratified analyses by the type of sex partner further reveals that stigma and ART were significantly associated with HIV disclosure within steady relationships but were not significant correlates of HIV disclosure with casual sex partners. The findings support a positive prevention strategy that emphasizes increased access to ART, and behavioral interventions to reduce casual sex partnerships for persons who are HIV-positive. Mitigating the influence of HIV stigma on HIV status disclosure particularly within steady sex partnerships is also important and may be accomplished through individual and couple counseling. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Vejella S.,Sarovar Center | Patel S.K.,HIV and AIDS Program | Saggurti N.,HIV and AIDS Program | Prabhakar P.,Sarovar Center
AIDS and Behavior | Year: 2016

Community collectivization is an integral part of condom use and HIV risk reduction interventions among key population. This study assesses community collectivization among female sex workers (FSWs), and explores its relationship with sex workers’ consistent condom use (CCU) with different partners considering the interaction effect of time and collectivization. Data were drawn from two rounds of cross-sectional surveys collected during 2010 (N1 = 1986) and 2012 (N2 = 1973) among FSWs in Andhra Pradesh, India. Results of the multiple logistic regression analysis show that, CCU with regular and occasional clients increased over the inter-survey period among FSWs with a high collective efficacy (AOR 2.9 and 6.1) and collective agency (AOR 14.4 and 19.0) respectively. The association of high levels of collectivization with CCU and self-efficacy for condom use are central to improve the usefulness and sustainability of HIV prevention programs worldwide. © 2015, The Author(s).

Singh A.,International Institute for Population Sciences | Singh A.,Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research | Mahapatra B.,HIV and AIDS Program
Maternal and Child Health Journal | Year: 2013

To investigate the relationship between pregnancy intendedness and utilization of recommended prenatal care for mothers and vaccinations for children against six vaccine preventable diseases in rural India using a prospective dataset. To examine the association between pregnancy intention and neonatal and infant mortality in rural India. The study is based upon a prospective follow-up survey of a cohort selected from the National Family Health Survey 1998-1999, carried out in 2002-2003 in rural areas of four Indian states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. Data for 2108 births for which pregnancy intendedness was assessed prospectively was analyzed using bivariate analysis, logistic regressions and discrete-time survival analysis. Mothers reporting unwanted births were 2.32 (95 % CI: 1.54-3.48) times as likely as mothers reporting wanted births to receive inadequate prenatal care. Moreover, unwanted births were 1.38 (95 % CI: 1.01-1.87) times as likely as wanted births to receive inadequate childhood vaccinations. Likewise, births that were identified as mistimed/unwanted had 83 % higher risk of neonatal mortality compared to wanted births. The association between pregnancy intendedness and infant mortality was only marginally significant. This is the first study of its kind which has investigated the relationship between prospectively assessed pregnancy intendedness and early childhood mortality in rural India. The study provides additional and more conclusive evidence that unwanted births are disadvantaged in terms of maternal and child health outcomes. Findings argue for enhanced focus on family planning to reduce the high prevalence of unintended pregnancy in rural India. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Vu L.,HIV and AIDS Program | Tun W.,HIV and AIDS Program | Sheehy M.,HIV and AIDS Program | Nel D.,OUT LGBT Well Being
AIDS and Behavior | Year: 2012

This study examines levels and correlates of internalized homophobia among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Pretoria, South Africa. Using respondentdriven sampling, we recruited 324 MSM from February to August 2009. Results were adjusted using RDSAT analysis to yield population-based estimates. High levels of internalized homophobia exist among South African MSM: 10-15% reported "often/very often" and over 20% reported " sometimes" having feelings of internalized homophobia. A greater level of internalized homophobia was significantly associated with a lower level of education [Adjusted Odds Ratio = 2.2; 95% CI = 1.1-4.9], a higher level of HIV misinformation [AOR = 2.7; 95% CI: 1.3-5.3], bisexual identity (vs. homosexual) [AOR = 5.5; 95% CI: 2.5-12.0], and HIV-related conspiracy beliefs [AOR = 2.4; 95% CI: 1.02-5.8]. These findings contribute valuable information to our understanding of internalized homophobia in South Africa, highlighting the need to empower the gay community, promote self-acceptance of homosexual identity, and address conspiracy beliefs among MSM to reduce internalized homophobia and increase access to HIV prevention interventions. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Swain S.N.,HIV and AIDS Program | Saggurti N.,HIV and AIDS Program | Battala M.,HIV and AIDS Program | Verma R.K.,International Center for Research on Women | Jain A.K.,Distinguished Scholar
BMC Public Health | Year: 2011

Background: Female sex workers (FSWs) are a population sub-group most affected by the HIV epidemic in India and elsewhere. Despite research and programmatic attention to FSWs, little is known regarding sex workers' reproductive health and HIV risk in relation to their experiences of violence. This paper therefore aims to understand the linkages between violence and the reproductive health and HIV risks among a group of mobile FSWs in India. Methods. Data are drawn from a cross-sectional behavioural survey conducted in 22 districts from four high HIV prevalence states (Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu) in India between September 2007 and July 2008. The survey sample included 5,498 FSWs who had moved to at least two different places for sex work in the past two years, and are classified as mobile FSWs in the current study. Analyses calculated the prevalence of past year experiences of violence; and adjusted logistic regression models examined the association between violence and reproductive health and HIV risks after controlling for background characteristics and program exposure. Results: Approximately one-third of the total mobile FSWs (30.5%, n = 1,676) reported experiencing violence at least once in the past year; 11% reported experiencing physical violence, and 19.5% reported experiencing sexual violence. Results indicate that FSWs who had experienced any violence (physical or sexual) were significantly more likely to be vulnerable to both reproductive health and HIV risks. For example, FSWs who experienced violence were more likely than those who did not experience violence to have experienced a higher number of pregnancies (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 1.2, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.0-1.6), ever experienced pregnancy loss (adjusted OR = 1.4, 95% CI = 1.2-1.6), ever experienced forced termination of pregnancy (adjusted OR = 2.4, 95% CI = 2.0-2.7), experienced multiple forced termination of pregnancies (adjusted OR = 2.2, 95% CI = 1.7-2.8), and practice inconsistent condom use currently (adjusted OR = 1.97, 95% CI: 1.4-2.0). Among FSWs who experienced violence, those who experienced sexual violence were more likely than those who had experienced physical violence to report inconsistent condom use (adjusted OR = 1.8, 95% CI: 1.4-2.3), and experience STI symptoms (adjusted OR = 1.3, 95% CI: 1.1-1.7). Conclusion: The pervasiveness of violence and its association with reproductive health and HIV risk highlights that the abuse in general is an important determinant for reproductive health risks; and sexual violence is significantly associated with HIV risks among those who experienced violence. Existing community mobilization programs that have primarily focused on empowering FSWs should broaden their efforts to promote reproductive health in addition to the prevention of HIV among all FSWs, with particular emphasis on FSWs who experienced violence. © 2011 Swain et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Saggurti N.,HIV and AIDS Program | Mahapatra B.,HIV and AIDS Program | Swain S.N.,HIV and AIDS Program | Jain A.K.,Distinguished Scholar
BMC Public Health | Year: 2011

Background: Recent studies of male migrants in India indicate that those who are infected with HIV are spreading the epidemic from high risk populations in high prevalence areas to populations in low prevalence areas. In this context, migrant men are believed to initiate and have risky sexual behaviors in places of destination and not in places of origin. The paucity of information on men's risky sexual behaviors in places of origin limits the decision to initiate HIV prevention interventions among populations in high out-migration areas in India. Methods. A cross-sectional behavioral survey was conducted among non-migrants, returned migrants (with a history of migration), and active (current) migrants in rural areas across two districts with high levels of male out-migration: Prakasam district in Andhra Pradesh and Azamgarh district in Uttar Pradesh. Surveys assessed participant demographics, migration status, migration history, and sexual behavior along the migration routes, place of initiation of sex. District-stratified regression models were used to understand the associations between migration and risky sexual behaviors (number of partners, condom use at last sex) and descriptive analyses of migrants' place of sexual initiation and continuation along migration routes. Results: The average age at migration of our study sample was 19 years. Adjusted regression analyses revealed that active migrants were more likely to engage in sex with sex workers in the past 12 months (Prakasam: 15 percent vs. 8 percent; adjusted odds ratio (aOR)=2.1, 95% CI 1.2-3.4; Azamgarh: 19 percent vs.7 percent; aOR=4.0, 95% CI 2.4-6.6) as well as have multiple (3+) sex partners (Prakasam: 18 percent vs. 9 percent; aOR=2.0, 95% CI 1.3-3.2; Azamgarh: 28 percent vs. 21 percent; aOR=1.9, 95% CI 1.2-3.0) than non-migrants. Contrary to popular belief, a high proportion of active and returned migrants (almost 75 percent of those who had sex) initiated sex at the place of origin before migrating, which is equivalent to the proportion of non-migrants who engaged in sex with sex workers as well as with casual unpaid partners. Moreover, non-migrants were more likely than migrants to engage in unprotected sex. Conclusion: Findings of this study document that returned migrants and active migrants have higher sexual risk behaviors than the non-migrants. Most migrants initiate non-marital sex in the place of origin and many continue these behaviors in places of destination. Migrants destination area behaviors are linked to sex with sex workers and they continue to practice such behaviors in the place of origin as well. Unprotected sex in places of destination with high HIV prevalence settings poses a risk of transmission from high risk population groups to migrants, and in turn to their married and other sexual partners in places of origin. These findings suggest the need for controlling the spread of HIV among both men and women resulting from unsafe sex in places of origin that have high vulnerability due to the frequent migratory nature of populations. © 2011 Saggurti et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Ganju D.,HIV and AIDS Program | Mahapatra B.,HIV and AIDS Program | Saggurti N.,HIV and AIDS Program
Culture, Health and Sexuality | Year: 2013

Male migrants in India are at disproportionately high risk for HIV, not only because of their sexual behaviours in destination areas but also due to their risk behaviours in their place of origin. While studies have documented male migrants' risky behaviours in the home setting, few have attempted to understand the underlying socio-cultural context in which they engage in such behaviours. This paper examines the patterns and context of male migrants' non-spousal sexual partnerships in two high-out-migration districts of India. Data, drawn from a cross-sectional behavioural mixed-methods study conducted in 2008, included a structured survey with 1272 migrants, followed by in-depth interviews with 33 male migrants. Results suggest that sexual activity was common in the place of origin: around 50% of migrants had sex with a non-spousal female partner and two-fifths had initiated sex in this setting. Migrants' non-spousal sexual behaviours in the home village were influenced by the prevailing socio-cultural context, including migrants' enhanced socio-economic status, attitudes to non-spousal sex and accessibility of sexual partners. Male migrants' non-spousal sexual partnerships in source areas are influenced by socio-cultural factors, which must be considered when designing HIV programmes in India and elsewhere. © 2013 Copyright Deepika Ganju, Bidhubhusan Mahapatra & Niranjan Saggurti.

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