Mobilising sex workers for HIV prevention: A new publication in American Journal of Public Health

A new article, Community Mobilization and Empowerment of Female Sex Workers in Karnataka State, South India: Associations With HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infection Risk, is published in the August 2014 edition of American Journal of Public Health.

A series of behavioural-biological surveys in 2008 and 2011 in four districts of Karnataka found that mobilising female sex workers is central to effective HIV prevention programming.

Defining community mobilisation exposure as low, medium or high, the study revealed female sex workers with high exposure to community mobilisation are:

  • more likely to have been tested for HIV
  • more likely to have used a condom at last sex with occasional clients, repeat clients and regular partners
  • less likely to be infected with gonorrhea or chlamydia

These findings suggest that even in times of constrained budgets and limited resources, community mobilisation should not be seen as a luxury ‘add-on’ to the traditional biomedical HIV prevention model. Rather, our findings suggest that community mobilisation has formed an important and integral part of the success of the Avahan HIV prevention programme.”

Lead author Tara Beattie worked with colleagues at the Karnataka Health Promotion Trust (KHPT) as well as other SaME staff – Lori Heise, Peter Vickerman, Charlotte Watts and Sudha Chandrashekar.

The full text can be found here.

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