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The Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition
ISSN: 1606-0997
EISSN: 1606-0997
Vol. 24, No. 1, 2006, pp. 81-88
Bioline Code: hn06012
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

The Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition, Vol. 24, No. 1, 2006, pp. 81-88

 en Perceptions of Risk and Behaviour Change for Prevention of HIV Among Married Women in Mumbai, India
Chatterjee, Nilesh & Hosain, G.M. Monawar


Heterosexual transmission accounts for the majority of cases in India, an epicentre of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, with increasing rates of infection in married women contracting HIV from an infected spouse. Cultural roles and position of married women in Indian society render targeted risk-reduction programmes difficult. To investigate HIV/AIDS-related knowledge, perceptions, and behaviour change among married women in India, an interview-based survey was conducted with 350 married women in Mumbai, of whom 67% (236) were aware of HIV/AIDS. Although 59.3% (140) of those aware mentioned indiscriminate sexual activity as increasing risk of HIV, only two (41%) in five women perceived HIV as a threat to the community; one (12%) in eight perceived personal risk of getting infected as high; and only 7.2% (17) reported behaviour change to avoid infection. When probed for reasons for not changing behaviour, most women cited their personal behaviour of monogamy, not being in an at-risk group, such as commercial sex workers, and trust in their husbands. Education programmes among married women that enable better understanding of risks are urgently required. Since marriage and motherhood are important in the Indian cultural context, male spouses should be included in risk-reduction programmes.

HIV; Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome; Perceptions; Knowledge, attitudes and practice; Behaviour change; Risk factors; Community survey; Cross-sectional studies; India

© Copyright 2006 - ICDDR,B: Centre for Health and Population Research
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