Manifestations of Gender Inequality and Its Influence on Health Service Use Among Female Injecting Drug Users - A Study in Champai, Mizoram
14 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2020
Date Written: February 3, 2020
Gender inequalities affect women’s access to and experience of HIV/AIDS programmes and services. The current study focused on Female Injecting Drug Users with human immunodeficiency virus positive status, residing in Champai district of Mizoram - known as transit hub for illegal drugs. Drug use and drug peddling beset the district and injecting drug use and sharing of injecting equipment among males and females caused the rising HIV infection among users. In Mizoram, the human immunodeficiency virus infection has topped the list of States with prevalence rate of 2.04%.
The study was conducted with the aim of exploring the needs and social contexts of Female injecting drug users. We embarked at understanding how FIDUs experience gender inequality and discrimination and the impacts the same have on their abilities to access health services.
This study was performed in August 2019 and conducted among Female HIV positive intravenous drug users of Champai. The qualitative study also used content analysis. The data were collected through individual interviews with Key Informants involved in health service delivery; and focus groups with HIV positive FIDUs. Given the hidden nature of FIDUs, snowball sampling was attempted to recruit participants. Qualitative data analysis was conducted using the framework approach and informed by theories of risk environments.
A summary of socio-demographic with drug use and HIV positive status of participants was generated using Microsoft Excel systems. Transcripts were analyzed through QAD MINAR software and codes were generated.
The findings suggest systemic interventions that reduce community deprivation and social disorder likely to yield important benefits.
This study identified important structural and contextual factors that affect the uptake of the preventive health services by FIDUs of Champai and other vulnerable districts of Mizoram state.
Keywords: FIDU, gender inequality, HIV, health, PLHIV, stigma, discrimination
JEL Classification: 112
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation