Former Indian Sex Worker To Lead WHO-Funded Program, Pledges To Eradicate New Infections in District
A former Indian sex worker has taken over as director of an HIV/AIDS program funded by the World Health Organization, saying she will eradicate new infections in Sonagachi, a "red light district" in Kolkata, India, Reuters India reports. "My chief goal is to ensure that not a single sex worker offers her service without condoms," Bharati Dey said. Dey -- who on Dec. 1 took over the project, which serves about 6,000 sex workers -- meets with health workers and also takes groups of volunteers into the district to educate sex workers and their clients about HIV/AIDS. Over the past 10 years, the program has significantly decreased HIV prevalence among sex workers in Sonagachi -- one of the largest red light districts in Asia -- partly by encouraging sex workers not to have sex without condoms. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has modeled a $200 million project in six other Indian cities after the project (Mukherjee, Reuters India, 12/9).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.