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P4.85 Young female garment workers in migration, sex work and hiv: a study of mumbai city
  1. Prashika A
  1. International Institution for Population Sciences, Mumbai, India


Introduction HIV/AIDS has become a major public health problem in India. Garment industry is one of the fastest growing industries attracting adolescents and young women. Since many risk behaviours, associated with transmission of HIV, are adopted in young age, it is very important to target the prevention efforts in the young age group. One of the major obstacles in conducting any health education campaign in this industries that, many workers shift from factory for better facilities. Hence governments as well as NGOs have failed to conduct HIV/AIDS awareness programmers in these industries. This has created a situation where in young workers lack proper knowledge about of HIV/AIDS, and also risky behaviour associated with it. To evaluate awareness and attitude regarding HIV/AIDS and high risk behaviour.

Methods Primary data has been collected from selected garment unit in Mumbai city. In-depth interviews and focus group discussion have been conducted using semi structured questionnaire to among women garment worker in Mumbai.

Results Interviews with migrant garment workers confirmed that poverty was the primary motivator for migration. Women and key informants reported awareness that some migrants had sexual relationships with local men or engaged in sex work to supplement their income. Factory restrictions limited women’s ability to access health care services and health education programs. Majority of the women had heard about HIV/AIDS and knew some aspects of it; the knowledge about it was very sparse. Migrant women and adolescent girls are more vulnerable to multiple partner sexual behaviour may be due to many reasons like poverty, harassment etc. Women involving in multiple partner sexual relations, which put them at greater health risk like RTI/STI/HIV.

Conclusion It is really a matter of concern as these women are highly vulnerable and can easily be infected with the HIV, considering the fact that they are not well aware about safe sexual practices. Adequate measures needs to be taken at various levels to address this issue more seriously.

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