Assessing the Factors That Contribute to HIV/STD Transmission in Marriage in Urban Slum Communities in India

Sumitra Sharma, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)
Stephen L. Schensul, University of Connecticut Health Center
Sreeparna Chattopadhyay, Brown University
Bonnie K. Nastasi, Institute for Community Research
Garimella Rama Rao, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)

Despite the overwhelming evidence of the marital unit as a significant locus for transmission of HIV/STD for women throughout the world, there has been little effort to explore the factors in marital relationships that are associated with transmission or prevention. Data for this paper was collected through a structured survey and STD testing of both wife and husband for 210 couples and in-depth interviews with 62 women and 52 men, conducted in association with a five-year NIMH study of men's sexual health in three "slum" communities of Mumbai. Preliminary data show that a subset of marital relationships in these communities carry significant risk for women, as men conduct extramarital affairs, limit women's mobility, and practice forcible sex and domestic violence. Demographic, behavioral, attitudinal, and biological data will be presented on husbands, wives, and marital dyadic factors, which are associated with women's gynecological health and STD status.

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Presented in Session 3: Couples and Reproductive Health