Living on the margins of social mainstream, this group faces an ambiguous existence. Hijras are a very cohesive and well organized group living in established and strictly adhered to hierarchy. They do have rules and codes of conduct and good network with an excellent information system. They, generally, prefer staying in groups.
In tricity, Hizras have some occupation or the other, whether full time or part time, in addition to sex work. Some Hijras, they just sing and dance and collect money. Some Hijras work as full time sex workers and are much better off than their female counterparts. They have greater freedom too.
Some are well off and have a middle class like life style. Their earnings are managed by the ‘ GURU ‘ or the ‘ Leader ‘ of the group who provides boarding, lodging and takes care of the daily needs of all those living in the group. Part of the earnings are shared by all. Though they rules and codes regarding sexual activities, most indulge either in multiple partner sex in serially monogamous relationships or though commercial sex work itself. They mostly indulge in anal or oral sex. Motivation is both economic and their personal need to satisfy their urge.
Their clientele comprises mostly those who enjoy anal sex or want to experiment and look for variety in sexual experiences without inhibitions, like the college students. Their annual festivals draw both Hijras and their customers in large congregations. These occasions can be used to reach them with information.
The transgender group are bult around ‘ Gender” The categories within are :-
• Akwa Hijra :- Akwa means in preparation for castration after rites between Guru and Chela.
• Nirwan :- Ritually castrated men who are then a part of the ritual ‘ Houses called GHARANAS.
• Kothi: This term used to describe males who show varying degrees of femininity, take the female role in their sexual relationships with other men and are involved mainly in receptive, anal or oral sex with men.
• Double Decker: Those males who both insert and receive during penetrative sexual encounters (anal or oral sex) with other men.
NEED ASSESSMENT SURVEY
In an endeavor to understand the nature of Hijras behaviour and regarding there knowledge about HIV/AIDS, STD/RTI and consistency in condom usage. Family Planning Association of India, Panchkula branch team with team leader Dr. Avnish Jolly and Ashwani Kumar initiated need assessment survey in the month of March to November 2010. In need assessment survey approximately 10% of the group already identified was covered. The need assessment survey was carried on 100 Hijras in try city. According to interviewed hijras 1000-1200 Hijras population are living in Tricity.
It was decided to use Performa for generating useful data. protocol/questionnaires was prepared for the need assessment survey. Each question was provided with a set of options. Four Focused group discussion was also conducted for the qualitative study of needs among Hijras.
Data collected randomly from following sites of Hijras
• Colony No. 4
• Sector 25,
SOCIO-ECONOMIC BACKGROUND OF HIJRAS
Nativity and Current Residence :-
Born and brought up in Tricity 30%
Migrant to tricity 70%
Uttar Pardesh 12
West Bangal 13
Education Level %
Can just sign 18
Higher Secondary 12
Post Graduate 06
MARITAL STATUS AND ARRANGE OF STAY:-
Marital status %
ARRANGEMENT OF STAY
Own Family 1
Male Spouses 8
OCCUPATION AND MONTHLY INCOME
Singing Begging 48%
Self employed 02%
Commercial Sex 38
MONTHLY INCOME :-
Monthly income %
< Rs. 3000 24
Rs. 3000-6000 21
Rs. 6000-12000 29
Rs. 18001-25000 + 02
KNOWLEDGE ATTITUDE OF HIJRAS TOWARDS HIV/AIDS:-
The studies pertaining to HIV/AIDS also measure the knowledge and attitude of target population. It is assumed that if a person has appropriate knowledge regarding the transmission of HIV/AIDS.
Knowledge about HIV
What is HIV %
An insect 15
Foreign Germs 3
A fatal disease 40
A microorganism that causes AIDS 18
Don’t Know 24
TRANSMISSION OF HIV
Modes of transmission Yes % No % Total
By Mosquito bite 46 54 100
Through sex without condom 33 67 100
By kissing 25 75 100
Infected mother to child 10 90 100
By using the same toile by using HIV positive 65 35 100
Via infected blood and blood products 37 63 100
By residing with an HIV positive person 70 30 100
By hugging infected person 99 1 100
Infected syringes 45 55 100
PREVENTION OF HIV
Ways of prevention %
By avoiding penetrative sex 20
By using condom during penetrative sex 45
By using sterilized needle syringes 40
By testing blood 10
KNOLEDGE REGARDING AIDS
What is AIDS %
A condition where body system break down 22
A killer disease 35
A deadly virus 05
AIDS means life is over 08
Wheather AIDS means Death
ATTITUDE TOWARDS HIV+ VE PEOPLE
Break of the relationship 40
Continue the relationship but not have sex 37
Continue the relationship while practicing safe sex 8
SUPPORT SERVICES FOR HIV +ve Hijras
Support Services %
HIV testing facilities 22
Counselling facilities for prevention 37
Hospices for HIV+ve 64
Provide medicines 2
Give him sufficient rest 1
Give him money 3
Should practice meditation 1
Provide support and love 2
SEXUAL BEHAVIOUR AND CONDOM USAGE:-
Frequency of sex with men:-
SEX PARTNER IN LAST ONE MONTH
Male Partners %
Sources of meeting sex partners
The most popular sources were friends, followed by cruising in public toilets and soliciting. Railway Stations, public toilets, parks and even public transport served as meeting places for sex partners.
Place of Sex
Public Toilet 26
Friend’s House 10
Rent a Room 08
Railway Tracks 5
Behind Bushes 08
In the Hotel 05
In the car 02
Any Lonely places 05
Cinema Hall 05
SEX IN EXCHANGE OF CASH OR KIND:-
Substance Use Prior To Sex
The state of mind plays an important role in determining a person’s control on self. Therefore, the contribution of intoxicating drinks and substances in inducing risk behaviour has been increasingly recognized.
In this section an attempt has been made to gauge substance use prior to sex among the MSMs
Consumption of Liquor before sex
Yes 67 67%
No 33 33%
Quantity of Alcohol Consumed Before Sex
Two pegs or less 42
More than two pegs 30
Quantity of alcohol consumed is an important factor in affecting the state of mind. hence the respondents were asked about the quantity of alcohol, which they usually consumed before sex. About half of them said that they consumed a quarter. This was considered a situation of ‘alcohol abuse’ in which a person lost control over his behaviour.
Availability of Condoms and Usage related Knowledge
Whether condoms easy to access
Reason for condom not being accessible
Condom are not available 10
Too costly 3
I do not like 42
I do not use condom 8
I feel embarrassed to use condoms 5
Correct steps of wearing condoms
HEALTH PROBLEMS AND TREATMENT SEEKING WHETHER SUFFERED FROM STIs IN LAST 6 MONTHS.
Symptoms of Problems :-
Greenish Yellowish discharge 10
Blisters and ulcers 12
Redness and swelling 8
Types of treatment:-
Home remedies 12
Self medication 05
Allopathic doctor 03
Alternative system of medicine 07
From Jhaar Phoonk 07
Misconceptions regarding STIs
• They make Cannabis pills with Arsenic and lead, which they believe can cure all diseases.
• Semen consumption keep them fit.
• Most customers feel HIV/AIDS STIs is not related to Hijras. It’s a problem of the female sex workers.
Approach towards HIV testing :-
Tested for HIV %
Non Reactive 78
STIGMA AND Discrimination Faced :-
Stigma Discrimination faced %
Stigma Discrimination Faced By :-
Hospital staff 14
House Owner 05
School Collages 10
Multiple Stigma and discrimination attached
Involvement in Drug paddling:-
First preference %
Old Age Pension 78
Ration Card/ID Card 55
Education of children 44
Health facilities 65
Bank account 35
Reason for Suicidal Tendency:-
Neglect from family, stigma and discrimination by Social structure, unemployment, discrimination by Gurus, Depression, anxiety etc.