HIV Rate High in MSM of Tamil Nadu, and Higher in Married MSM

Published: October 8, 2010

HIV prevalence stood at 9% among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Tamil Nadu state in southern India. The HIV rate was even higher among MSM married to a woman.

MSM in India often hide their sexual identity, and many of them are married. To estimate rates of HIV infection and other sexually transmitted infections in Tamil Nadu, researchers used respondent-driven sampling in eight cities to recruit 721 MSM.

Median age of the study group was 28, 34% were married, and 40% identified themselves as homosexual. Over the past year, survey respondents reported a median of 15 male partners, and 45% reported unprotected anal intercourse.

Prevalence rates for HIV, herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), chronic hepatitis B virus infection, and syphilis were 9%, 26%, 2%, and 8%. Among married men, all those rates were higher: 14%, 32%, 3%, and 11% (P < 0.01 for HIV and HSV-2).

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