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Multiple Sexual Partners and Vulnerability to HIV: A Study of Patterns of Sexual Behaviour in the Slum Population of India

DOI: 10.4236/wja.2014.44044, PP. 373-381

Keywords: Slum, Sexual Partners, Transition Probability

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Abstract:

Globally, research indicates that monogamous married women living in slums are at heightened risk of HIV men’s risky sexual behaviour. Hence, to reduce the risk of HIV transmission, there is need to understand the number, nature and variation in transition of sexual partners of men in living in slums. This paper uses India’s National Family Health Survey-3 data to estimate the variation in the type of sexual partners among sexually active men age 15 - 54 with more than one sexual partner in last 12 months prior to the survey in eight slums of India. Among sexually active men, 1.3 percent reported having more than one sexual partner in the last 12 months prior to the survey. Men who are more likely to have two or more partners are those who are young, especially below age 25 years, never married, educated up to 5 years, and from middle class. There is a higher increase in the probability of sex with spouse from second last to the last sexual partner in non-slum areas than slum areas. However, in case of transition from other friends/relatives and female sex workers to spousal partners, there is a major decline in probability among non-slum men than slum men. These transitions are extremely important from the perspective of curbing the spread of HIV epidemic, especially in situations where women lack control over their own sexuality and seldom use condom in marital sex. Therefore, strategies focused in slums should either consider reducing men’s risky sexual behaviour or build capacities of women to negotiate safe sex in marital relationships or consider a combination of both.

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