Awareness of HIV/AIDS among the grass-widows
The migrant workers in Bangladesh are at high risk of getting HIV infection due to factors like staying away from family for long periods which leave them vulnerable towards sexual relationship with commercial sex workers (CSW) and having sexual relationship with other men (MSM). This paper aimed to explore the level of awareness on HIV/AIDs among the women whose husbands stay apart from them for over a period of 6 months. For this cross sectional study, women attending public and private hospitals in Dhaka city were selected purposively. The participants were interviewed using a partially open-structured questionnaire. A total of 404 subjects were interviewed. Most of the respondents were housewives (85.7%). The higher education group had a high prevalence of awareness (>=HSC vs. SSC: 45.0% vs. 8.5%; p<0.001). The prevalence of awareness was significantly higher among the employed than the housewives (50% vs. 12.4%, p<0.001). Although the wives of the unskilled labor and the skilled employee were equal (25% vs. 25%), the wives of skilled employee had significantly higher awareness than the wives of the unskilled laborer (30.7 vs. 10.9%, p = 0.001). The study concludes that higher awareness level was significantly associated with higher education of the participants and higher education of the husband. Occupationally, housewives were found to have very low level of awareness compared with the employed group of participants. Again the wives of skilled employees had a significantly higher prevalence of awareness compared with the wives of unskilled laborer.
Ibrahim Med. Coll. J. 2011; 5(1): 25-28
Key Words: HIV/AIDs; awareness; grass-widows.