Secondary HIV prevention among kothi-identified MSM in Chennai, India

Cult Health Sex. 2008 May;10(4):313-27. doi: 10.1080/13691050701816714.


This study explored experiences and contexts of HIV risk and prevention among HIV-positive kothi-identified men in Chennai, India. In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 HIV-positive men and three service providers, recruited using purposive sampling. Interviews were audio-taped, transcribed in Tamil and translated into English. Data were analysed using a narrative thematic approach and constant comparative method. Misconceptions about HIV transmission; cultural taboos around discussing sexual behaviour and HIV; stigma related to same-sex behaviour; harassment; and the criminalization of consensual sex between men present formidable challenges to HIV prevention. Frank and open discussion about male-to-male sexual behaviour and living with HIV, which may support health and HIV prevention, may be dangerous in the context of pervasive risks due to stigmatization, violence and criminalization. Instead, culturally appropriate, multi-level interventions developed in collaboration with community stakeholders are needed to support HIV prevention among kothi-identified men in South India.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anecdotes as Topic
  • Crime Victims / psychology
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • HIV Infections / psychology*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Homosexuality, Male / psychology*
  • Humans
  • India
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prejudice*
  • Quality of Life
  • Risk-Taking
  • Sexual Behavior / psychology
  • Social Isolation
  • Social Perception
  • Social Support
  • Socioeconomic Factors