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American Public Health Association
133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition
December 10-14, 2005
Philadelphia, PA
APHA 2005
4157.0: Tuesday, December 13, 2005 - Table 6

Abstract #107853

Does promoting gender equity among men make a difference? Positive results from a pilot HIV risk reduction intervention among young men in India

Ravi K. Verma, PhD1, Vaishali Sharma Mahendra, MSc2, Julie Pulerwitz, ScD3, S. S. Khandekar4, SK Singh, PhD5, P. Fulpagare5, Mahendra Rokade4, V. Sarmarkar4, and Gary T. Barker, PhD6. (1) Population Council, Horizons, 53, Lodhi Estate, New Delhi, 110003, India, (2) Population Council, Lodi Road, New Delhi, 110003, India, (3) Horizons project, PATH, 4301 Connecticut Avenue N.W., Suite 280, Washington DC, DC 20008, (202) 237-9400, jpulerwitz@pcdc.org, (4) CORO for Literacy, Near Container Yard, Suman Nagar, Suman Nagar, Chembur, Mumbai, 400 071, India, (5) International Institute for Population Sciences, Govandi Station Road, Deonar, Mumbai, 400 088, India, (6) Instituto Promundo, Brazil, Rua México 31, Bloco D, sala 1502, CEP 20031-144, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

While there is increasing recognition of the influence of norms that support inequitable gender relations on HIV/STI risk and partner violence, few empirical studies have attempted to modify these norms, and measure change due to an intervention. This paper presents findings from a pilot intervention to promote gender equity among young men from low-income communities in Mumbai, India, to effect HIV-related behavior change. Research involved an ethnographic study on gender, sexuality and masculinity; the development/adaptation of group educational activities; and the implementation of activities with 4 groups of young men over six months (n = 100). Pre and post-test measures using the Gender Equitable Men (GEM) Scale, qualitative interviews, and observations were used as evaluation tools. Process data indicate the great majority of young men participated in all activities. Analyses revealed a significant positive shift (p < .05) in gender attitudes. Changes in attitudes towards condom use, partner violence, and women's rights were particularly great. Respondents also reported fewer sexual partners, particularly commercial partners and male partners, more condom use, and less partner violence. Pilot results indicate that positive change in attitudes towards gender norms is possible, and suggest gender dynamics are key factors in HIV-related behavior change.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Gender, HIV Risk Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

I wish to disclose that I have NO financial interests or other relationship with the manufactures of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services or commercial supporters.

Gender, Violence, Male Involvement

The 133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition (December 10-14, 2005) of APHA