Exposure to pornographic videos and its effect on HIV-related sexual risk behaviours among male migrant workers in Southern India

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Article (peer-reviewed)

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Objective: Research on pornography and its association with HIV-related sexual behaviours is limited in India. This study aims to examine the prevalence and correlates of viewing pornographic videos and examine its associations with HIV-related sexual risk behaviours among male migrant workers in India. Methods: Data were drawn from a cross-sectional survey conducted in 2007–08 across 21 districts in four states of India. Respondents included 11,219 male migrants aged 18 years or older, who had migrated to at least two places in the past two years for work. Bivariate and multivariate methods were used to examine the association between viewing pornography and HIV-related sexual risk behaviours. Results: Two-fifths (40%) of the migrants had viewed pornographic videos in one month prior to the survey. Migrants aged 25–29 years, literate, unmarried and away from native village for more than five years were more likely to view pornography than their counterparts. Migrants who viewed pornographic videos were more likely to engage in paid (Adjusted odds ratio [AOR]: 4.2, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 3.7–4.8) and unpaid sex (AOR: 4.2, 95% CI: 3.7–4.7), report inconsistent condom use in paid sex (AOR: 2.3, 95% CI: 1.7–3.0) and experience STI-like symptoms (AOR: 1.7, 95% CI: 1.5–1.8) than their counterparts. Conclusions: The findings regarding migrants' exposure to pornography and its linkage with high HIV risk behaviour suggest that the HIV prevention programmes for migrants need to be more innovative to communicate on the negative-effects of viewing pornography. More importantly, programmes need to find alternative ways to engage migrants in infotainment activities during their leisure time in an effort to reduce their exposure to pornographic videos as well as risky sexual behaviours.