The Population Council undertook a large-scale study of married young women and men in two rural settings in India to assess their situation and vulnerability to HIV and other adverse sexual and reproductive health outcomes. Findings of the study clearly underscore the vulnerability of married youth to STI/HIV as a result of risky sexual experiences before, within, and after marriage. Furthermore, there is a need to sensitize healthcare providers to the special needs and vulnerability of married young people and orient them to the need for developing appropriate strategies to reach diverse groups of young people, including married young women and men. The report recommends multipronged programmatic attention that addresses not only their risk behaviors, but also the likely factors contributing to these risks. These program efforts need to focus not only on married young people themselves but also their families, the community, and healthcare providers who also play a significant role in enabling married youth to make informed, safe, and wanted sexual and reproductive health choices.
Santhya, K.G., Shireen J. Jejeebhoy, and Saswata Ghosh. 2008. "Early marriage and sexual and reproductive health risks: Experiences of young women and men in Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, India." New Delhi: Population Council.
Towards Messages that Matter: Understanding and Addressing the HIV and Sexual and Reproductive Health Risks of Married Young People in India