2015 Volume 68 Issue 1 Pages 38-44
Men who have sex with men (MSM) in India are mostly hidden due to stigma and discrimination and are at a higher risk of acquiring human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). HIV Sentinel Surveillance (HSS) reported an increased HIV burden in Chhattisgarh, an important state in central India. This state has the distinction of having the highest HIV prevalence among MSM in India; therefore, it warrants special attention; hence, we focused on the role of MSM in the HIV epidemic in this state. Cross-sectional analysis of the most recent latest (2010–2011) HSS data of 227 MSM in Chhattisgarh revealed a HIV seropositivity of 14.98%. Older age, unemployment, and receiving money for sex with a man were associated with a higher HIV risk. Participants were mostly young (mean age, approximately 26 years), school-level educated (51.98%), urban residents (99.56%), in service (46.26%), not involved in heterosexual activity (97.36%), or paid sex (68.72%). None of the participants reported injection drug use, and almost all of them (98.68%) were kothis. Some of the observed associations lacked statistical power due to sparse data obtained during this initial surveillance among MSM in Chhattisgarh. Therefore, further studies involving a larger population are needed to understand the role of MSM in the dynamics of the HIV epidemic in this state to facilitate the planning of appropriate interventions, as the epidemic is likely to be concentrated among MSM in Chhattisgarh.