Sexual Risk Behaviour and Vulnerability to HIV Infection among Young Migrant Women Workers in Urban India

Ruchi Jain, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)
Kamla Gupta, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)
Ajay Kumar Singh, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)

The objective of this study, initiated in January 2005, is to explore migrant women worker’s AIDS-related health information and health care facilities, perceptions about vulnerability, and risk behaviour profile. Data was collected through a pre-tested questionnaire from a random sample of unmarried female migrant workers under 30 years old residing in Delhi, India. Findings suggest that city life, greater independence and social networks mold their behaviour and lure them to lavish lifestyles by having rich boyfriends, acquiring expensive items (e.g. home theatres, computers, luxury cars), visiting expensive restaurants, going to discos and clubs, attending late night parties. To maintain their lavish lifestyle, 20 percent of them had sex with their peers, colleagues or boss for monetary benefits or in exchange for promotion and 10 percent had sex with multiple partners. The high-risk behaviour of these women put them at greater health risk; a substantial percentage of women have been found suffering from various sexual health problems.

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Presented in Session 63: HIV/AIDS in Asia