India: Canadian Project Spreads Word of Safe Sex in Fight Against HIV/AIDS in India
March 30, 2006
With funding from the Canadian International Development Agency, a team of University of Manitoba professors has been working with sex workers in rural India to spread HIV prevention in some of the country's most remote areas. The success of the project has attracted the attention of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which is providing $22 million US to expand it to 16 other districts.
In the Bagalkot district in the southern Indian state of Karnataka, health authorities estimate there are 4,000 sex workers who work out of their homes, brothels and truck stops. Project surveys indicated that nearly a quarter of prostitutes in Bagalkot district are HIV-positive.
The project has trained 60 women in the district, all sex workers and many still active in their trade. The women travel to remote villages, calling on the homes of known prostitutes and handing out free condoms and demonstrating how to use them.
The results so far are encouraging. Estimated condom use among sex workers is 90 percent. Every day, 30-40 women present at clinics for STD treatment. Each month, 500 people are voluntarily tested for HIV.
03.26.2006; Winnipeg Free Press
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.