Characteristics of sex partners and sexual partnership correlates of inconsistent condom use among male injection drug users in India

Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health. 2014 Jul;45(4):906-19.


Previous studies have established the risky behaviors of IDUs in India, and that IDUs are sexually active; however, there is a need to better understand the nature of sexual partnerships of IDUs. A total of 783 (Delhi) and 766 (Imphal) male IDUs were recruited into the study through respondent-driven sampling. We examined characteristics of sex partners of male IDUs and individual and sexual partnership characteristics associated with unprotected sex in Delhi and Imphal. While 16.8% of sexual partnerships in Delhi were male-to-male, there were almost no male-to-male partnerships in Imphal. The majority of partners of male IDUs in Delhi (82.5%) and Imphal (92.3%) do not inject drugs, with the exception of male partners of male IDUs in Delhi. Commercial partners (females: 58.3%; males: 71.3%) were the most common type of sex partners of male IDUs in Delhi, while regular partners (65.2%) were the most common type of sex partners in Imphal. In Delhi, characteristics of sex partners significantly associated with unprotected sex were being male/transgender (AOR 2.2; 95% CI: 1.2-4.0), being a regular (AOR 5.1; 95% CI: 2.8-9.4) or non-regular partner (AOR 2.7; 95% CI: 1.7- 4.5), and sharing needles/syringes with the index IDU (AOR 2.8; 95% CI: 1.4-5.3). In Imphal, partner characteristics associated with unprotected sex were being a regular (AOR 10.1; 95% CI: 41-25.1) or non-regular partner (AOR 3.4; 95% CI: 1.5-7.6), and living outside of town or state (AOR 3.3; 95% CI: 1.2-9.6). Enhanced understanding of disassortative sexual mixing and context of unprotected sex within sexual partnerships may enhance sexual risk reduction interventions for IDUs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Condoms / statistics & numerical data*
  • Drug Users / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • India
  • Male
  • Risk-Taking
  • Sex Workers / statistics & numerical data
  • Sexual Behavior / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sexual Partners*
  • Substance Abuse, Intravenous / epidemiology*
  • Unsafe Sex
  • Urban Population / statistics & numerical data