Staff Reporter

Brazilian research student conducts study of sexual behaviour of street youth in city

  • 35 boys and 30 girls between 12 to19 years were studied
  • 50 per cent of the girls in the dark about HIV/AIDS
  • India spends 5.4 USD per patient for Anti Retroviral Thearpy compared to 3,000 USD by Brazil

    VISAKHAPATNAM: "It is sad to note that the country which documented the Kama Sutra still considers sex a taboo," pointed out Stefania Forner, a research student from Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil. Addressing a press on Wednesday along with Kutikuppala Surya Rao of Child Foundation, her sponsor NGO, she informed that she was here to conduct a research on sexual behaviour of street youth as part of the AIESEC, a student exchange programme.

    Personal history

    Sharing details of her research, she informed over the last six months 35 boys and 30 girls in the age group between 12 to19 were identified for the study. "The spotlight was on the youth on railway platforms who did odd jobs at roadside hotels and the ones who worked as domestic servants. The area of focus was on their sexual history, personal history and behavioural pattern," she said.

    Abortions

    Her study reveals 13 per cent of the boys had sexual intercourse without using condoms with at least 20 different partners a week. Both men and women engaged them as paid sex workers.

    As far as the girls are concerned, 50 per cent did not know of HIV/AIDS and 6.6 per cent have undergone abortions. "The Government should take an initiative and come out with more integrated educational and health programmes," said Ms. Stefania.

    Dr. Surya Rao informed the unified health system of Brazil is an integrated, foolproof programme whichis why they were able to reduce the infection rate there.

    Poor spending

    "Here in India we concentrate more on the opportunistic infections (OI) rather than controlling the development of HIV to AIDS by supplying the anti retroviral therapy (ART).

    We hardly spend 5.4 USD per patient for ART compared to around 3,000 USD by Brazil, despite our pharmaceutical industry being much larger and developed than theirs," he said.

    According to him, ART is extended to only 40,000 out of a total of 5.7 million infected in India compared to around 1.7 million out of 2.9 million infected in Brazil.