Opportunities and Barriers of Sexual Health and Condom Use among Tea Plantation Workers

Opportunities and Barriers of Sexual Health and Condom Use among Tea Plantation Workers

Ranabir Pal (Sikkim Manipal Institute of Medical Sciences, India), Samir Roy (Institute for Plantation Agricultural and Rural Workers, India) and Shrayan Pal (Sikkim Manipal Institute of Medical Sciences, India)
Copyright: © 2011 |Pages: 9
DOI: 10.4018/ijudh.2011040103
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In the era of evidenced-based medicine, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are a major international health issue; adolescents and young people are particularly vulnerable. The current study determines the perceptions of sexual health and condom use in sexual encounters among tea plantation workers of North Bengal in India. A population based cross-sectional study was undertaken with 973 adults of both sexes selected by a multi-stage random sampling using an anonymous pre-tested close-ended structured questionnaire. The majority of study participants were working class in the age range of 16 to 30 years. The gender distribution of the participants was almost equal. The majority of males were in the age group of 46-60 years, while the majority of the females were in the age group of 16-30 years. There was no statistical association between age and use of condoms. Significant statistical differences were seen in condom use in relation to marital status, religion, type of family, and number of living children. This study revealed inadequate protective behavior adopted by plantation workers. In this socio-demography with the acceptance of sexual relation outside marriage, non-use of condoms increases vulnerability to HIV/AIDS/ and other sexually-transmitted infections.
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This was a population-based cross-sectional study undertaken from 1st July - 31st August 2006 (two months activity) among the tea plantation workers to determine the status of condom use among a sexually active population. Data from a similar community-based study by Kamal and Huda (2006) to determine condom use in India found condom users constituted 15.83 percent of the population. Considering the above prevalence, 973 study participants of both sexes between 16 to 60 years of age were selected from nine segments of population as follows: Commercial Sex Worker (CSW), Truck driver, Male plantation worker client or those with multiple partners, Female plantation worker with multiple partners, Supervisor, Unmarried youth, Alcoholics and drug user, Tribal (aborigines), Male having sex with male (MSM).

The study population was selected by a multi-stage sampling technique. There were nearly 30 tea plantation areas in this belt, popularly known as the ‘Dooars’ Tea plantation area of Jalpaiguri district of North Bengal, India. In the first stage, 15 areas were selected randomly. The Bagracote Cantonment area and National Highway, Binnaguri Cantonment area and State Highway, Birpara, Chalouni, Chamurchi, Chamurchi Bazar and Samtchi Bhutan border, Choonabhutti, Dalsing Para, DamDim, Jaigaon Bazar-Phuntsoling Bhutan border and surrounding state highway, Lankapara- Pagli Bhutan border area, Moraghat, Nagaisuree, Rheabari, Subhasini were considered. In the second stage, with the help of social workers from the community in each of the fifteen areas, the segments of our populations were identified from the voter list. In the third stage, ten adults were selected from each segment randomly with equal sex distribution between the ages of 16 to 60 years. This age group was taken because of the high risk behavior found by researchers in India within this age group (Talukdar, Roy, Saha, Mitra, & Detels, 2008; Schneider et al., 2007; Meundi, Amma, Rao, Shetty, & Shetty, 2008; Vaz, Ferreira, & Motghare, 2006). Our primary outcome measures were socio-demographic correlates of condom use and non-use.

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