High-risk sex among mobile female sex workers in the context of jatras (religious festivals) in Karnataka, India
Halli,Shiva S.; Buzdugan,Raluca; Moses,Stephen; Blanchard,James; Jain,Anrudh K.; Verma,Ravi K.; Saggurti,Niranjan
International Journal of STD and AIDS 21(11): 746-751
Publication date: 2010
Jatras (religious festivals) represent venues for female sexworkers (FSWs) to meet potential clients in an environment ofanonymity. Data from a survey conducted among 1499 mobile FSWsin Karnataka, India were analysed using bivariate and multivariateanalysis. Overall, 31% of mobile FSWs reported attending jatrasin the previous year. Women who sold sex at jatras tended topractice sex work in public places, in their own homes or onhighways. Jatra attendees reported lower condom use with theirlast commercial sexual partners at their usual places of sexwork. Jatra-related mobility was a significant predictor ofnon-condom use at their usual place of residence, after controllingfor sociodemographic, sex work-related, HIV vulnerability andprogramme exposure variables. Moreover, only 13% of FSWs usedcondoms consistently at jatras. Condom availability and accessibilityat jatras should be a priority for HIV prevention programmes,and such programmes should make efforts to introduce outreachactivities at jatras.