Indian J Sex Transm Dis Indian J Sex Transm Dis
Official Publication of the Indian Association for the Study of Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Indian J Sex Transm Dis
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 37  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 162-166

A situational analysis of sexual and reproductive health issues in physically challenged people, attending a tertiary care hospital in New Delhi


Apex Regional STD Teaching, Training and Research Centre, Vardhman Mahavir Medical College and Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Sumathi Muralidhar
Apex Regional STD Teaching, Training and Research Centre, Room No. 553, 5th Floor, OPD Building, Vardhman Mahavir Medical College and Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi - 110 029
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0253-7184.188481

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Background and Objectives: Physically challenged people constitute the most stigmatized sections of society, and are excluded from outreach programs, besides being considered sexually inactive. They have unaddressed sexual and reproductive healthcare (SRH) issues, predisposing them to sexual abuse and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The huge paucity of data in this field prompted us to undertake this study. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted on 100 people with more than 40% of permanent disability, attending various out/inpatient facilities of a tertiary care hospital in New Delhi, India. A structured, pretested questionnaire was used to assess SRH issues. Samples were collected from consenting individuals for diagnosis of various STIs, wherever relevant. Statistical analysis was done using Pearson's Chi-square test, considering significant at P <0.05. Results: Most people were in the age group of 15–30 years. Limbs were most commonly affected, and the use of assistive devices was statistically related to income levels (P = 0.045), 43% was married and 41% had children. Contraceptive usage was 33%, with a significant association (P = 0.03) with education levels. Issues related to sexual health included conditions ranging from nerve sensation loss in genitalia to fertility and gynecological issues, only 10% had received sexual counseling during rehabilitation. There were several misconceptions prevalent regarding HIV and STIs; 35% of the samples tested positive for chlamydia IgG. Interpretation and Conclusions: This is a pioneer study on a grossly neglected issue in India. There is a dire need to overcome hurdles and address the SRH issues of physically challenged people to achieve the universal WHO goal of “Health for All.”


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