Stigma and HIV risk among Metis in Nepal.

Published: November 3, 2010


Similar to other parts of Asia, the HIV epidemic in Nepal is concentrated among a small number of groups, including transgender people, or Metis. This study was conducted to explore the social context of stigma among Metis in Nepal to better understand their risk for HIV. Fourteen in-depth interviews were conducted with Metis in Kathmandu, Nepal. We found that stigma from families leading to rural-urban migration exposed Metis to discrimination from law enforcement, employers and sexual partners, which influenced their risk for HIV. Specific HIV-related risks identified were rape by law enforcement officers, inconsistent condom use and high reported numbers of sexual partners. These data point to an immediate need to work with law enforcement to reduce violence targeting Metis. HIV prevention, housing and employment outreach to Metis in rural areas and those who migrate to urban areas is also needed. Finally, there is a need for more research to determine the prevalence of HIV among Metis, to explore risk within sexual networks and to better understand of the relationship between Metis and their families in order to develop future programmes and interventions.

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