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Boy Prostitutes: An Invisible Group in India with Little Support

October 10, 2001

In the Indian city of Bangalore, boy prostitutes earn money by selling their bodies to men seeking sex. The 5,000 rupees ($106) they can earn nightly for their services is far more than they could ever hope to make in other jobs because they have little education and are mostly illiterate, said Vinay Chandra, executive director of Jagruthi, a nongovernmental organization that assists these prostitutes.

Chandra said Jagruthi has established a medical clinic to educate the boys about HIV/AIDS but is unable to make a dent in child prostitution without community and government support. "Structures that help the boys to get out of the trade must be stronger than those that keep the boys in the trade," he said. Speaking at the 6th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific, Chandra said many of the tens of thousands of Indian boys are first introduced to the sex industry between the ages of 10 and 13 -- largely by force. Though some boys are conscious of STDs such as HIV/AIDS, few use condoms. Instead, they attempt to avoid infection by sleeping with well-dressed clients they believe to be disease-free.

In another presentation on child prostitution in Asia, Mao Land, the director of the Meatho Phum Kumah shelter in Cambodia, said child trafficking is an enormous problem in the country's second largest city, Battambang. Lang said children are sold to traffickers by their parents or sometimes handed over as repayment for debts. They are taken to Thailand where most become prostitutes, often begin taking drugs and are at risk of contracting HIV/AIDS. "Families who sell children are desperate," Lang said. "They often feel they have little option if the rest of the family is to survive."


Back to other CDC news for October 10, 2001

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Adapted from:
Associated Press
10.06.01; Emma Tinkler



  
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
 

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