Redefining Vulnerabilities: A Study of Men Having Sex with Men in the Wake of HIV Epidemic in Mumbai, India

Ashish Kumar Mishra, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur
Arun Kumar Sharma, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur

Evidence shows that the HIV has narrowed down the space between risky and safe practices. The paper captures the concepts of sexuality and sexual health among the males having sex with males (MSM) and the social externalities that determine their behaviour. This paper argues that to arrest this menace, a new paradigm is required that accords greater acceptance to sexual realities based on deconstruction of sexual identities. It also addresses both the structural and biological factors construct sexual identities and choices. The study was carried out among 160 MSMs selected from 10 different cruising points in Mumbai. It shows that the MSMs do not reveal their actual sexual identity to family members and society. Due to this hidden identity the MSM cannot take the real advantage of counselling, testing and treatment. At the end, the paper suggests developing an effective institutional mechanism to redress the problems faced by the MSM.

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Presented in Session 104: Making Sense of Sex, Risk, and STDs/AIDS