You are here:

AIDS/Who gets aids


Some religous nuts say that aids is spread by gays and bisexuals. IS that true? I dont believe it is. Can you tell me who is most prone to get aids?

Dear Raul,

HIV is not spread by any particular group everywhere. And you have rightly identified that these statements are not factual. A number of studies suggest that although HIV transmission can be more among who have male to male sex, the pattern is not unique in all the cases. There are many homosexuals that are prude when it comes to sex, and even more have "healthy", "monogamous" relationships. Also, interestingly, biologically women are twice more likely to become infected with HIV through unprotected heterosexual intercourse than men.

In every society, there are individuals and population groups who are more vulnerable than others to come to harm. For instance, to become sick or to experience poverty and social rejection. Generally, the very young, the elderly and people who are sick or live with a disability are especially vulnerable in every society. In some societies, women, ethnic or religious minorities, migrants or other groups can also be especially vulnerable to abuse, discrimination and even hatred. Often, it is not so much the actual composition of a particular population that makes it more vulnerable, but rather how that population is regarded by others, for example by their local community, society, at political level or by the business sector. For that reason a population who is vulnerable in
one country, could be well protected in another.

The group of people who are most-at-risk or vulnerable for HIV transmission vary according to the local context. Vulnerability to HIV is a result of a combination of factors, including more personal circumstances such as age, social mobility, education, gender identity, etc. The groups or populations who are most vulnerable to HIV transmission may include (but not limited to) people living with HIV, their partners and families, people who sell or buy sex, men who have sex with men, people who use drugs, orphans and other vulnerable children, certain categories of migrants and displaced people, and prisoners.



AVERT. (2012). Retrived from

Baeten, J. M., Kahle, E., Lingappa, J. R., Coombs, R. W., Delany-Moretlwe, S., Nakku-Joloba, E., et al. Genital HIV-1 RNA Quantity Predicts Risk of Heterosexual HIV-1 Transmission. Science translational medicine, 3(77), 77ra29.

Bonell, C., Weatherburn, P., & Hickson, F. (2000). Sexually transmitted infection as a risk factor for homosexual HIV transmission: a systematic review of epidemiological studies. International journal of STD & AIDS, 11(11), 697-700.

Browne, R., Asboe, D., Gilleece, Y., Atkins, M., Mandalia, S., Gazzard, B., et al. (2004). Increased numbers of acute hepatitis C infections in HIV positive homosexual men; is sexual transmission feeding the increase? Sexually transmitted infections, 80(4), 326-327.

Gray, R. H., Wawer, M. J., Brookmeyer, R., Sewankambo, N. K., Serwadda, D., Wabwire-Mangen, F., et al. (2001). Probability of HIV-1 transmission per coital act in monogamous, heterosexual, HIV-1-discordant couples in Rakai, Uganda. The Lancet, 357(9263), 1149-1153.

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. (2006). HIV infection in women.

UNAIDS. (2008). Report of the Global AIDS Epidemic.

van der Straten, A., Gomez, C. A., Saul, J., Quan, J., & Padian, N. (2000). Sexual risk behaviors among heterosexual HIV serodiscordant couples in the era of post-exposure prevention and viral suppressive therapy. AIDs, 14(4), F47-F54.

WHO, UNFPA, UNAIDS and IPPF. (2005). Sexual and reproductive health and HIV/AIDS: A framework for priority linkages.


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Gorkey Gourab


Social and behavioral issues related to HIV transmission, sexually transmitted infections, Human Rights issues, rights of marginalized populations, gender and sexuality, research design and analysis related social & behavioral issues, , computer assisted qualitative data analysis and data management (using ATLAS.ti, ANTHROPAC, NVivo 8)


Specialized in Medical Anthropology, now studying Public Health. Working on Social and behavioral studies related to HIV transmission as well as Human Rights issues. Specialization in gender, sexuality, masculinity, behavioral studies related to HIV transmission. Qualitative research, programmatic and M&E experience with MSM, hijra (TG), indigenous groups, female sex workers for more than 10 years.

International Center for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b) as Manager - M&E (Qualitative) with Center for HIV and AIDS

International peer-reviewed journals & technical papers: (1) Khan, S. I., Hussain, M. I., Parveen, S., Bhuiyan, M. I., Gourab, G., & Bhuiya, A. (2009). Living on the extreme margin: Social exclusion of the hijra in Bangladesh. Journal of health, population and nutrition. (2) Khan, S. I., Hussain, M. I., Gourab, G., Parveen, S., Bhuiyan, M. I., & Sikder, J. (2008). Not to stigmatize but to humanize sexual lives of the transgender (hijra): condom chat in the AIDS era. Journal of LGBT Health Research (Special issue: issues on male sexual behaviors and HIV risk in South Asia). Working papers: (1) Khan, S. I., Reza, M. M., Gourab, G., Azim, T. et al.(2012). Counting the Numbers of Males Who Have Sex with Males, Male Sex Workers and hijra in Bangladesh to Provide HIV Prevention Services. Dhaka: National AIDS/STD programme, Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and icddr,b. (2) Khan, S. I., Gourab, G., Ahmed, T., Sarker, G. F., Chowdhury, F. K., Ghosh, S., et al. (2009). Understanding the operational dynamics and possible HIV interventions for residence-based female sex workers in two divisional cities in Bangladesh. Dhaka, Bangladesh: NASP, Save the Children USA and icddr,b. Presentations in scientific meetings and conferences: (1) Khan, S. I., Hussain, M. I., Gourab, G. & Azim, T. (2011, 16 March 2011). Use of a new approach to count and access diverse groups of hijra for scaling up HIV-preventions services in Bangladesh. Poster presented at the 13th Annual Scientific Conference (ASCON XIII), Dhaka. (2) Khan, S. I., Pasa, K., Gourab, G., & Islam, A. (2007). Indigenous populations of Bangladesh: Living with risks and vulnerabilities to STIs/HIV. 8th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP). Colombo, Sri Lanka.

MSS (Anthropology), University of Rajshahi, Bangladesh MPH, Melbourne University, Australia (ongoing)

Awards and Honors
The Vanderbilt-UAB Fogarty International Center AIDS International Training and Research Program (AITRP)Scholarship for the training on HIV-AIDS related qualitative data analysis and manuscript writing (Center for Global Health, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA)

©2017 All rights reserved.