Association between general media exposure and sexual behavior among mobile female sex workers in India

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Article (peer-reviewed)

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Background: In HIV intervention programs, mass media like newspapers, radio and televisions plays a vital role as a source of information for individuals and society. This paper investigates the association between general mass media exposure and the sexual behavior among mobile female sex workers in India. Methods: The data were collected from 5,498 mobile FSW in four high HIV prevalence states in India regarding their social-demographic, economic profile, sexual behavior and exposure to media. Results: Multivariate logistic regression analysis highlighted that higher media exposure [more than two sources of media] was associated with “consistent condom use with occasional clients and regular clients” in paid sex [65.2% Vs 80.1%, AOR = 1.12, p < 0.001; 54.3% Vs 69.1%, AOR = 1.10, p < 0.001] and with non-paying partner [12.7% Vs 24.3%, AOR = 1.13, p < 0.001], higher exposure to media was also associated with consistent condom use with all partners [11.3% Vs 23.4%, AOR = 1.14, p < 0.001] and self perceived high risk of HIV infection [42.9% Vs 36.4%, AOR = 0.86, p < 0.001]. Conclusions: The results highlight that general media exposure is significantly associated with the sexual behavior among mobile FSWs. The findings highlight that a pro-active media campaign may transform the lives of masses considerably and may open a window of opportunity to infuse the information and awareness to marginalized groups.