Promoting gender equity as a strategy to reduce HIV/STI risk and violence among young men from low income Indian urban communities

Ravi K. Verma, International Center for Research on Women (ICRW)
Vaishali Sharma Mahendra, Population Council
Ajay Kumar Singh, International Center for Research on Women (ICRW)

This paper presents findings from a longitudinal study focused on challenging gender norms and promoting HIV/violence risk reduction in Mumbai. Participants included three groups of young men from low-income communities (n =537 in total, from 18-29 years old). Young men from intervention communities were exposed to either peer-led group education activities alone, or to a combination of group education activities with a community-based behavior change communication campaign. Young men from the comparison community received a delayed intervention. Pre- and post-intervention surveys were applied, including measures of attitudes towards gender norms using the Gender Equitable Men (GEM) Scale, and HIV and violence risk outcomes. There was a significant decrease among intervention groups in support for inequitable gender norms and violence, and an increase in condom use, partner communication on HIV/STI risk prevention. The positive changes in gender-related attitudes were associated significantly (p<.001) with an increase in condom use and violence reduction.

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Presented in Poster Session 3