Exploring Taboo Behaviours in a Traditional Society: Evidence from Pakistan

Ali M. Mir, Population Council
Abdul Wajid, Population Council
Laura J. Reichenbach, Population Council
Mumraiz Khan, Population Council
Irfan Masood, Population Council

Pakistan is a low HIV prevalence country. However a concentrated epidemic is now emerging in the high-risk groups. Sexually transmitted infections can spread to the general population through men who engage in risky sexual practices. A cross sectional survey carried out in Pakistan has examined male sexual behaviors in six major cities. In each city, 400 men aged 16-45 were selected systematically employing a multi-stage sampling design. Nearly 29% of the respondents (95% CI 27-31) reported having had non-marital sex in their lifetimes: among these men, 9.6% reported sexual relationships with men. Nearly 2.6% reported exclusive sex with men. Multivariate analysis has shown that men having sex with men are more likely to be young, less educated, living away from their homes and are more likely to have had exposure to pornographic materials. Urban men in Pakistan are engaging in risky sexual practices including having unprotected sexual relations with men.

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Presented in Session 158: Gender and HIV Risk in Understudied Populations