Why Indians don't prefer condoms
Are we, Indians, averse to using condoms? Does it hinder pleasure? Naz Foundation's Irfan Khan explores the touchy subject.india Updated: Nov 30, 2005 00:28 IST
Are we, Indians, averse to using condoms? Does it affect our performance? Does it hinder pleasure? In a country like India such misconceptions abound. Having been associated with gays, sexual health and HIV, we at Naz Foundation were keen on finding it out for certain.
An opportunity came our way in 2000. Developmental Fund for International Development, a fund set up by British Commission, came up with a programme for working with truckers who have traditionally been seen as a high risk group. The Commission was funding 35 such projects across India then. Over a period of one and a half years, we did a project among truckers in Azadpur Mandi in Delhi. The idea was to study their sexual behaviour and promote safe sex norms.
To say that Indians don't use condoms is simplistic. While one agrees that much of it has to do with our cultural orientation, to ascribe the whole of it to this one factor is grossly misplaced. In the years we worked with them, we were able to gain their confidence to a great extent.
But the initial months were tough to crack. These truckers are very edgy about such projects, primarily because there have been a number of cases when quacks have cheated them. Many have resulted in deaths. Most of these death cases occurred during the process of injecting. If an air bubble goes in while injecting it eventually leads to blood blockage, resulting in deaths.