International AIDS Society


Socio-demographic characteristics of male sex workers (MSW) in Mumbai, India

S. Shinde1, P. Palwade1, H. Jerajani1, A. Row Kavi2, V. Anand2

Background: Thre are many reports on female sex workers, but few studies on interventions for male sex workers. We report the socio-demographic characteristics of individuals who attended a clinic for MSM in Mumbai, India.

Methods: The Humsafar Trust provides clinical services and HIV counselling and testing services to MSM and transgenders in Mumbai. The Dept of Dermatology (LTMM College), one of the collaborating departments provides clinical services to these individuals. We analysed the socio-demographic characteristics of the clinic attendees who reported sex work.

Results: Of the 75 individuals, 24 were males and 51 transgenders. The mean age of the group was 23.3 (+ 4.9) yrs. About 15% were married or lived with a permanent partner. Of these individuals, 85% reported sex work as a main source of income and 15% as an additional source. The primary occupation was sex work in 70% and 30% had other primary occupation (e g masseurs, bar boys). The venue for sex work was private in 67% of the workers and public in the rest. About 84% of them were into sex work for more than a year. The clientele was unskilled labourers for 59% of the sex workers. The overall HIV infection was 33%. HIV was associated with being a transgender (41% vs. 17%, p=0.04), age > 26 yrs (57% vs. 28% p=0.04), > 1 year of sex work (38% vs. 8% p=0.05) and income < Rs.2000 pm (62% vs. 27%, p=0.02).

Conclusions: Male sex workers are an important risk group for HIV in Mumbai. There is an urgent need of targeted interventions for prevention of HIV in this population. Qualitative research would be an important tool to identify social aspects of sex work, negotiation skills and other relevant issues.

AIDS 2006 - XVI International AIDS Conference
Abstract no. CDC0861

Suggested Citation
"S.Shinde, et al. Socio-demographic characteristics of male sex workers (MSW) in Mumbai, India. : AIDS 2006 - XVI International AIDS Conference: Abstract no. CDC0861"