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Open Access Publications from the University of California

HIV Transmission Potential Among Local and Migrant Factory Workers in Kolkata, India

  • Author(s): Deb, Alok Kumar
  • Deb, Manjari
  • Saha, Malay Kumar
  • Chakraborty, Shantanu
  • Bhattacharya, Sujit Kumar
  • Detels, Roger
  • et al.

Migrant workers in India play a key role in the spread of HIV. Kolkata is a common destination for workers, who may acquire infection and transmit it to their wives and/or other sexual partners. We investigated sexual relations and condom use by factory workers. Migrant and local factory workers were randomly selected from five wards of Kolkata. Information was collected about demographic and socio-economic characteristics, sexual relationships, condom usage, and perceptions and intent to use condoms. Condom use was very low in both groups of workers, particularly among migrants. Many married workers visited female sex workers but never used condoms. Few intended to use condoms, and if they did, it did not always translate into actual usage. There is great potential for transmission of HIV/sexually transmitted infections by these workers. Carefully designed intervention and education programs in the context of low literacy and cultural norms are urgently needed.

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