Taxi sex: migrant taxi driver in Kolkata have sex with women as well as other men, multiple sexual risk

Published: July 22, 2010

U. Chakraborty

PLUS, Male Sex Worker Project, Kolkata, India

Background: In India people with HIV and the majority of these infections were due to sexual transmission. Gender of partner, however, is not specified. We evaluated migrant Taxi driver who had sex with women to determine the extent to which they also had sex with other men. Recently a Pilot study was conducted among city Taxi driver in Kolkata, particularly those are migrant population coming form UP and Bihar.
Methods: Baseline data were collected on 221 men from 2 public STI clinics in Kolkata screened for enrollment into a randomized, controlled trial of an HIV intervention. Men completed an interviewer-administered questionnaire, were evaluated for STIs, and received HIV testing and counseling.
Results: Mean age was 28, 68% lived in slums, 89% were migrants,70% were unmarried. HIV prevalence was 14%. All men had sex with women the past. 66% reported only having female partners; 23% also had male partners (MSM); 11% had had sex with hijras. 73% of taxidriver had >10 lifetime partners vs. 69% of MSM and 46% of FSW (p< 0.01). 59% of >10 FSW partners vs. 53% and 41% of MSM, respectively (p< 0.01). 29% reported having anal sex with an FSW. Unprotected sex was high with all partners, and did not differ by group. Among MSM, 25% were married. 30% of MSM had sex with another man in exchange for money or services. Almost all MSM (98%) had insertive anal sex and 13% had receptive sex.
Conclusions: Surveillance data from Kolkata indicate that 25% of men having primarily male-male sex and 60% of hijras are HIV infected. Men in our sample who have sex with women but who also have intercourse with other men and hijras act as bridge population from male and transgender risk groups to women and spouses. Men need to be alerted of their increased risk of infection.

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