Background The homeless women living in street areas especially in metro cities like Delhi are the most vulnerable population groups as they don’t have privacy and also don’t have self-dignity to express their healthy sexual and reproductive health. There are no explorative studies available in the literature on sexual and reproductive health among homeless women. In this context, this research is attempting to understand the behavioral risks for STIs and health-seeking behaviour among the homeless women in Delhi.
Methods Primary data was collected to explore the sexual and reproductive health among the homeless women above 15 years living in Delhi in 2015. A total of 300homeless women were interviewed on sexual and reproductive health. As this study is explorative, both quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection was used.
Results About one-third, homeless women had intercourse before the age of 13 years and 85% had before age of 18 years. Two-third women reported the first intercourse happened forcefully and only 12% of women used a condom at that time. About 10% of women had sex with multiple partners in the last six months. Use of a condom during sex is not common women as only 40% ever had used a condom. As reported by the respondents, sex without concern, lack of information and lack of accessibility for a contraceptive method emerge as the major reasons for not using a condom during sex. About 40% were suffered from STI at the time of the survey.
Conclusion This research explored the sexual behavior and condom use to avoid unwanted pregnancy as well as to avoid STI. The treatment-seeking behaviour for RTI/STI was found to be very low. The study suggests that it is necessary to make awareness of the benefits of protected sex and also condoms should be distributed frequently homeless women to have protected and healthy sexual life.
Disclosure No significant relationships.
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