Drunk HIV+ men put sex workers at risk

Published: Tuesday, Dec 21, 2010, 2:50 IST
By Menaka Rao | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

A recent study that can pave way for a policy change in HIV prevention states that affected men, who are heavy drinkers, are 2.4 times more likely to have unprotected sex.

Source: DNA India

Published: Tuesday, Dec 21, 2010, 2:50 IST
By Menaka Rao | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

A recent study that can pave way for a policy change in HIV prevention states that affected men, who are heavy drinkers, are 2.4 times more likely to have unprotected sex.

The men surveyed include those who go to female sex workers(FSW) and have other casual partners too.

However, the same could not be said about female sex workers who drink heavily. Alcohol use did not have any statistical relevance in terms of inconsistency in condom use among FSWs, the study revealed.

The study was conducted in Kamathipura as a partnership between Boston Medical Centre, Boston University, HIV+ Peoples Network in Maharashtra (NMP+) and Population Council (PC).

The procedures were reviewed by Indian Council of Medical Research and Boston University. The study surveyed 211 FSWs and HIV + males who visit FSWs.

“The percentage of HIV infected women has increased from 29 % in 2001 to 39% in 2009,” said Dr Niranjan Saggruti, senior programme officer, PC, one of the researchers of the study.

Another startling statistic in this research is that 37% of these men were married. “This study shows that we should also focus on male clients of FSWs. If we do not target them, they are more likely to spread infection among sex workers and the general population,” said Dr Saggruti.

The study, that is also co-authored by Manoj Pardesi, asked HIV + men and women who had had transactional sex in the last three months. It revealed that while 11 percent of women and a third of men were alcohol dependent. Besides this, 32 %of women and 44 % men were heavy drinkers.

The study states that the possible explanation for the difference in men and women in inconsistency of condom use is that the male clients often control the final decision of condom use.

Therefore, if men do make the final decision, condom use is less likely when they drink alcohol and are more inhibited than in situations when women drink.

The research paper states that the health implications of HIV infected persons consuming alcohol in excess is poor anti-retro viral medication and poor adherence of medical appointments.



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