BACKGROUND: As the HIV epidemic continues to expand in India, empiric data are needed to determine the course of the epidemic for high-risk populations and the general population. METHODS: Two probability surveys were conducted in Chennai slums among a household sample of men and alcohol venue patrons ("wine shops") to compare HIV and other sexually transmitted disease (STD) prevalence and to identify STD behavioral risk factors. RESULTS: The wine shop sample (n = 654) had higher rates of HIV and prevalent STDs (HIV, herpes simplex virus 2 [HSV-2], syphilis, gonorrhea, or chlamydia) compared with the household sample (n = 685) (3.4% vs. 1.2%, P = 0.007 and 21.6% vs. 11.8%, P < 0.0001, respectively). High-risk behaviors in the household sample was rare (<4%), but 69.6% of wine shop patrons had >2 partners, 58.4% had unprotected sex with a casual partner, and 54.1% had exchanged sex for money in the past 3 months. A multivariate model found that older age, ever being married, ever being tested for HIV, and having unprotected sex in the past 3 months were associated with STD prevalence in wine shop patrons. CONCLUSIONS: Prevalent HIV and STDs, and sexual risk behaviors are relatively low among the general population of men. We found that men who frequent alcohol venues practice high-risk behaviors and have high rates of STDs, including HIV, and may play an important role in expanding the Indian epidemic.
- Risk factors
- Sexually transmitted diseases
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases
- Pharmacology (medical)