Condom use during commercial sex among clients of Hijra sex workers in Karachi, Pakistan (cross-sectional study).

Published: October 20, 2011


Objective To describe the prevalence and predictors of condom use and sexual risk in the male clients of Hijra sex workers (HSWs) in Karachi, Pakistan. Design Cross-sectional study. Setting Karachi, Pakistan. Participants Clients of HSWs were recruited with assistance from HSWs and a non-governmental organisation (NGO) focused on men who have sex with men (MSM) during October-November 2010. Measurements The interviewer administered the questionnaire to each participant to solicit information on demographics, HIV/AIDS knowledge/attitudes and sexual risk behaviours/practices, including condom use in the last sexual act with the HSW. Results Of the 203 participants, 42.4% reported that they used condoms during their last sexual act with HSW, 40% were married, 18% had ever used drugs or alcohol, and 52% reported also engaging with female sex workers in the last month. Casual HSW clients were more likely to use condoms than regular clients (adjusted OR (AOR), 2.50; 95% CI 1.34 to 4.65), as were persons with a higher education level (AOR 5.8; 95% CI 1.6 to 20.3). Drug/alcohol users and non-users were equally likely to use condoms (AOR 1.11; 95% CI 0.51 to 2.24). Conclusion Clients of HSWs in Pakistan are at risk of acquiring HIV/STI infections. Concerted efforts are needed to increase condom use in this key bridge population to curtail the spread of HIV in the general population.

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