Given the high prevalence of HIV in Manipur, India and the critical role that female injecting drug users play in the transmission of HIV infection, it is becoming increasingly important to understand the sexual behaviors and drug use experiences of this group. This report describes the health status and patterns of treatment-seeking of female injecting drug users aged 15–34 in Manipur, and explores the factors underlying their vulnerability to HIV, including limited in-depth awareness of safe sexual behaviors and drug use practices, and limited self-perception of HIV risk. The report recommends development of IEC materials that address these information gaps about safe sex and drug use; creation of a supportive environment that enables injecting drug users to discuss and address their needs more openly; nonjudgmental health providers who are sensitized to the particular needs of female drug injectors. In conclusion, the study underscores the need for programs in Manipur that recognize and address the vulnerabilities of drug injecting women and the multiple risks they face of acquiring HIV and of transmitting the infection to the general community.
Oinam, Archana. 2008. "Exploring the links between drug use and sexual vulnerability among young female injecting drug users in Manipur," Health and Population Innovation Fellowship Programme Working Paper no. 6. New Delhi: Population Council.
Health and Population Innovation (HPI) Fellowship Program