Dr Kate Mitchell, a mathematical modeller in the SaME team, presented at the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia on 24 July 2014 on “Estimating the potential impact and efficiency of PrEP for FSWs and MSM in Bangalore, Southern India”
Reporting on the session on HIV prevention amongst female sex workers, Kate noted that the findings were generally well received.
Participants had technical questions about the modelling, in particular about how our models differ from other widely used models, such as UNAIDS modes of transmission model. Researchers from Nigeria were particularly interested in whether this approach could be applied in their setting.
See the presentation here.
Sex workers in the audience raised concerns:
- will PrEP would be voluntary for sex workers?
- will it be delivered with sex worker involvement?
- will it replace existing, successful interventions?
Sex work stood out as a focus in this year’s conference, particularly the session launching The Lancet special issue on sex work. This concluded with a strong call for the decriminalisation of sex work as an essential step in reducing sex workers’ vulnerability and risk of HIV.
As rapporteurs for the epidemiology and prevention research track reported, the structural determinants of HIV were an important theme in the conference, specifically:
- binge drinking
- socio-economic factors