Covariates of STIs in Intimate Partner Relationship among FSWs in Nepal

Shrikant Singh, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)

Intimate partner relationship providing emotional support and social security to FSWs often leads to unprotected sex enhancing their vulnerability to STI/HIV. This paper analyzes major covariates of STIs based on information collected from 2901 FSWs selected following modified time-location cluster sampling from Nepal in 2010-11. Findings reveal that almost half of FSWs reported their last sex in intimate partner relationship unprotected. Adjusted effects of socio-demographic and behavioural correlates portray that being married and higher client load- a proxy of poverty and powerlessness, are significant determinants of unprotected sex, which may also be attributed to lack of risk perception in intimate relationships. A higher incidence of unprotected sex further leads to substantially higher prevalence of STIs (35%), especially among older and illiterates. These findings suggest strategies to address sexual rights within intimate partner relationship in addition to over-emphasized occupational empowerment of FSWs to combat STIs and improving their quality of life.

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Presented in Poster Session 4