Formative data on the sexual behaviors of HIV-infected individuals in regions disproportionately affected by the epidemic can help generate hypotheses about sexual risk taking in HIV-infected individuals and shape interventions to prevent further transmission. India is home to the highest number of HIV-infected individuals in the world, and very little information is available about the sexual behaviors of HIV-infected Indians. The present qualitative study presents themes from individual in-depth interviews with 30 HIV-infected individuals in South India. The sample included individuals from demographic groups that may experience different risk factors (five individuals each: from men who have sex with men, sex workers, married men, married women, injection drug users, and truck drivers ormen who travel for work). Across the groups, the three most frequently discussed themes involved (a) sexual behavior change (sexual risk reduction after HIV diagnosis, sexual behavior remaining safe after initiation of ART treatment), (b) motivations to reduce risk (motivation to protect one's self against further infection, to protect others from infection), and (c) barriers to reduce risk (complexity and stigma associated with condom negotiation, perception of HIV-infected peers being less concerned about protecting others, condom use as linked to gender and sexual roles, condom use as inconvenient or unappealing). This qualitative data can be used to generate hypotheses about sexual risk taking in HIV-infected individuals in South India, to inform models of risky behaviors of HIV-infected individuals for quantitative studies, and to lay the groundwork for secondary prevention intervention efforts that enhance facilitators and reduce barriers of safer sex articulated by the interviewees.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases