Introduction In India HIV/AIDS rates are almost stable in high risk groups except among Men who have Sex with Men (MSMs). There are scarce data available on MSMs. The objective of this study was to assess knowledge, practices and risk behaviours and self-reported STIs among MSMs.
Methods A cross-sectional survey was conducted in three non-governmental organisations working with MSM in Delhi. 250 MSMs were interviewed over a period of one year. This study examined MSM in the last six months.
Results The mean age of study participants was 24.6 years (SD ± 5.8); 20% were adolescents. Most of the participants were well aware of the various routes of transmission of HIV/AIDS. However only half were using condoms. The number of sexual partners ranged from 1 to 20 per month. Nearly one-third (38.4%) of participants were involved in sex for pay. The prevalence of self-reported STIs was 41.2%.
Discussion A substantial proportion of participants were young, literate, often married. Reported knowledge in this study was higher than that in previous studies which was reflected in the practice of participants. NGOs have played a significant role in promoting safer sexual practices.
Conclusion The participants had adequate knowledge about HIV prevention. However, prevention practices were poor. A significant proportion of the MSM experienced one or more episode of the STIs. Perceived risk of getting HIV was high.
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