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A comparative study to assess the knowledge and practices regarding sexual health among the migrants and nonmigrants in Mumbai city

Background: Population movements of the scale currently experienced by developing countries have significant implications on the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and HIV/AIDS. Mumbai is a large industrial city and has experienced large influx of migrants in the past two decades. The prevalence of multiple risk-traits among the migrants differs significantly by age, marital status, educational level, and living arrangements. Addressing sexual health also requires understanding and appreciation of sexuality, gender roles and power in designing and providing services.

Objectives: The present study was conducted to assess the knowledge and practices regarding various aspects of sexual health among migrant & non-migrant in Mumbai city.

Material and Methods: A Cross-sectional study was conducted from January 2007 to June 2007. It consists of 50 migrants and 50 non-migrants from each of the five zones of Mumbai city. A sample size of 250 migrants & 250 non-migrants from the five administrative zones of Mumbai was considered for the study were interviewed and examined. A semi structured interview schedule was piloted and used to collect necessary information such as clinical history, socio-demographic profile, sexual perceptions and practices, clinical examination and investigations were performed. Results were analysed using Statistical Package of Social Sciences (SPSS) version -13.0

Results: In this study, about 57% migrants perceived that masturbation affects the health & well being; while relatively more non-migrants (69.2%). There was an unrestrained fascination towards consumption of alcohol in both the groups, as 131 (52.4%) migrants and 124 (49.6%) non-migrants were drinking alcohol. More than half of migrants (58.0%) and non-migrants (52.6%) had premarital penetrative vaginal sex with multiple partners.

Conclusion: In the present study, friends followed by movies and television were main source of sexual knowledge among both migrants and non-migrants, with both groups aware of advantage of condom use in preventing HIV/STDs. More non-migrants had misconceptions about masturbation than migrants while both groups did not favor sex medicines.

Author(s): Purushottam A. Giri , Santosh B. Shirol , Abhiram M. Kasbe

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