Alcohol and sexual risk behavior among migrant female sex workers and male workers in districts with high in-migration from four high HIV prevalence states in India

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Article (peer-reviewed)

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This paper examines the association between alcohol use and sexual risk in two critical migrant populations living within the same geographical areas-migrant men and female sex-workers (FSWs). Data are drawn from two independent surveys of migrant FSWs and male workers in 14 districts of four high HIV prevalent Indian states. In the paper we have examined the independent effects of degree of mobility and alcohol use prior to sex on HIV risk behaviors. Nearly two-thirds of FSWs and a similar proportion of male migrant workers, as well as nine out of ten clients of FSWs consume alcohol. More than half of the FSWs and their clients consumed alcohol prior to sex. The practice of alcohol use prior to sex among both FSWs and their clients has a significant association with inconsistent condom use during paid as well as unpaid sex, and these effects are independent of degree of mobility. The results suggest a need for developing an in-depth understanding of the role of alcohol in accentuating HIV risk particularly among migrant populations who move frequently from one place another.