Pakistan currently has low levels of HIV infection, however the country is considered at high potential risk for an HIV epidemic. In major cities there are large concentrations of individuals whose behaviors make them extremely vulnerable to the rapid spread of HIV and of classical sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including male and female sex workers, men who have sex with men, and injecting drug users. HIV can spread to the general population through individuals who have contact with both high-risk groups and the general heterosexual population (the “bridging population”). Identifying the bridging population and bridging behaviors among urban men and understanding their levels of knowledge and behaviors related to STIs and HIV is critical for slowing the spread of HIV in Pakistan. The National Study of Reproductive Tract Infections and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Pakistan included three separate studies for measuring prevalence of selected STIs and assessing sexual behaviors within the high-risk groups, the bridging population, and the general population. This report describes the findings from the survey of the bridging population, which was conducted by the Population Council in six cities of Pakistan.
Mir, Ali M., Laura Reichenbach, Abdul Wajid, and Mumraiz Khan. 2008. "Study of sexually transmitted infections among urban men in Pakistan: Identifying the bridging population." Islamabad: Population Council.
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