AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 14, Issue 5, pp 1001–1010 | Cite as

The Emerging HIV Epidemic among Men Who have Sex with Men in Tamil Nadu, India: Geographic Diffusion and Bisexual Concurrency

  • Sunil Suhas Solomon
  • Aylur K. Srikrishnan
  • Frangiscos Sifakis
  • Shruti H. Mehta
  • Canjeevaram K. Vasudevan
  • Pachamuthu Balakrishnan
  • Kenneth H. Mayer
  • Suniti Solomon
  • David D. Celentano
Original Paper


In India, men who have sex with men (MSM) remain hidden because anal intercourse was criminalized and marriage socially required. We characterize HIV/STI prevalence among MSM in Tamil Nadu. Eligible participants were recruited using respondent-driven sampling in eight cities (n = 721). Median age was 28, 34% were married and 40% self-identified as homosexual. Median number of male partners in the prior year was 15; 45% reported any unprotected anal intercourse (UAI). HIV, herpes simplex virus-2 (HSV-2), chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) and syphilis prevalence were 9, 26, 2 and 8%, respectively; among married men, all were higher: 14, 32, 3 and 11% (p < 0.01 for HIV and HSV-2). Less education, HSV-2, more male partners, UAI and not having a main male partner were associated with HIV prevalence. The high STI and UAI prevalence may lead to a burgeoning HIV epidemic among MSM, reinforcing the need for focused preventive measures incorporating complex circumstances.


Men who have sex with men India HIV STIs Sexual concurrency 



Sunil S. Solomon was supported in part by the Fogarty International Center/USNIH: (Grant # 2D 43 TW000010-20-AITRP). We would also like to thank the YRGCARE staff and the local NGO collaborators from the various sites who helped with the implementation of the study and recruitment of the study participants. Lastly, and most importantly, our sincere thanks to the study participants without whom this would not have been possible.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sunil Suhas Solomon
    • 1
  • Aylur K. Srikrishnan
    • 1
  • Frangiscos Sifakis
    • 2
  • Shruti H. Mehta
    • 2
  • Canjeevaram K. Vasudevan
    • 1
  • Pachamuthu Balakrishnan
    • 1
  • Kenneth H. Mayer
    • 3
  • Suniti Solomon
    • 1
  • David D. Celentano
    • 2
  1. 1.YR Gaitonde Centre for AIDS Research and Education (YRGCARE)ChennaiIndia
  2. 2.Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.Warren Alpert School of MedicineBrown University, Providence, USA and Fenway HealthBostonUSA

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