HIV/STD prevalence and associated risk behaviors among homeless men in Kolkata, India

HIV/STD prevalence and associated risk behaviors among homeless men in Kolkata, India

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AIDS epidemic in India is now at a critical point, with HIV poised to expand, but large scale prevention and other interventions at this stage could help to contain the HIV spread. Identification and mapping of different risk groups is now a major challenge to India. This study has attempted to explore the vulnerability of homeless people in India for acquiring and transmitting HIV infection. This was a community based, cross sectional study conducted among homeless men in Kolkata, India. An anonymous questionnaire interview was carried out to understand their HIV/AIDS and STD related knowledge, attitudes towards condom use, as well as sexual behaviors. Blood and urine samples were collected simultaneously to identify the prevalence and determinants of HIV/STDs. We found that homeless people were mainly migrated from rural areas of neighboring states to earn their livelihood. Self perception of being at potential risks of HIV/STDs was extremely low among them. Their knowledge of HIV/AIDS, STDs and attitude toward condom use was very low and urgently needs to be improved. Multiple sexual partners including sex with male partner were common. Condoms were rarely used with sex partners. 82% of sexually active homeless men, predominantly younger people visited to a commercial sex worker (CSW). Alcohol consumption prior to sexual activities was also widely prevalent. HIV and overall STDs prevalence were found 3.6 (95% CI 2.1--5.1) and 18.0% (95% CI: 14.6--21.7) respectively. Risk factors for being positive for HIV were young age (OR 2.5, 95% CI: 1.1--5.1), visit to a CSW (OR 5.2, 95% CI: 2.0--13.3), multiple sex partners (OR 3.03, 95% CI 2.5--3.7), consistent condom use (OR 0.6, 95% CI: 0.4--0.9) and IDU (OR 2.4, 95% CI 1.8--3.2). Presence of non-paying female sex partner were found as a significant risk factor for STDs. This study demonstrates that homeless men in Kolkata are a reservoir for HIV and STDs and their mobility may facilitate the diseases transmission in general population. The results should have implications in formulating relevant prevention and intervention programs involving such population and in making appropriate policies to control HIV epidemic.This is so called single imputation, as if missing values are known in the complete data- analyses. ... In contrast to these single imputation techniques that fill in a single fixed value for each missing value in the data, another highly technicalanbsp;...

Title:HIV/STD prevalence and associated risk behaviors among homeless men in Kolkata, India
Author:Arunansu Talukdar
Publisher: - 2007


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