Same-sex behavior and high rates of HIV among men attending sexually transmitted infection clinics in Pune, India (1993-2002)

Amita Gupta, Shruti Mehta, Sheela V. Godbole, Seema Sahay, Louise Walshe, Steven J. Reynolds, Manisha Ghate, Raman R. Gangakhedkar, Anand D. Divekar, Arun R. Risbud, Sanjay M. Mehendale, Robert C. Bollinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To determine HIV/sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevalence, trends, and risk behaviors of men who have sex with men (MSM) and compare these with those of non-MSM attending STI clinics in Pune, India over a 10-year period. DESIGN: Cross-sectional. METHODS: From 1993 through 2002, men attending 3 STI clinics in Pune underwent HIV/STI screening. Demographic, risk behavior, clinical, and laboratory data were collected using standardized questionnaires and laboratory procedures. RESULTS: Of 10,785 men screened, 708 (6.6%) were MSM. Among these 708 MSM, 189 (31.7%) had 10 or more lifetime partners, 253 (35.7%) were married, 163 (23.1%) had sex with a hijra (eunuch), and 87 (13.3%) had exchanged money for sex. A total of 134 (18.9%) were HIV-positive, 149 (21.5%) had genital ulcer disease (GUD), 37 (5.8%) had syphilis, and 29 (4.3%) had gonorrhea (GC). Over the decade, neither HIV nor GC prevalence changed among MSM (P = 0.7), but syphilis and GUD decreased significantly (P < 0.0001). Compared with non-MSM, MSM were more likely to initiate sexual activity at age <16 years, to have >10 lifetime partners, to have sex with a hijra, and to use condoms regularly, but they did not differ significantly in HIV prevalence and had a lower prevalence of GC, GUD, and syphilis. Independent factors associated with HIV among MSM were employment (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 3.08; P = 0.02), history of GUD (AOR = 1.86; P = 0.003), and syphilis (AOR = 2.09; P = 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Same-sex and high-risk sexual behaviors are prevalent among men attending STI clinics in India. Although syphilis and GUD rates decreased, HIV prevalence remained high during the decade, highlighting the importance of additional targeted efforts to reduce HIV risk among all men, including MSM, in India.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)483-490
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
Volume43
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2006

Keywords

  • Genital ulcer disease
  • Gonorrhea
  • HIV
  • Homosexual
  • India
  • MSM
  • Male-to-male sex
  • Men
  • Prevalence
  • Risk factors
  • Same-sex behaviors
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Syphilis
  • Trends

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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