Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
Reuters Examines Program Giving Southern Indian Commercial Sex Workers Discount Shopping Cards for Routine Sexual Health Checkups
Reuters on Friday examined an HIV/AIDS awareness program in southern India that gives commercial sex workers discount shopping cards if they regularly visit a sexual health clinic. According to Reuters, some shops and restaurants in Mysore, India, were "hesitant" to sign on to the program but were convinced that "500 card-carrying sex workers would lead to a steady stream of paying customers." Sushena Reza-Paul of the Karnataka Health Promotion Trust said the program lifts the self-esteem of sex workers in the region. "They tell me that only rich people can normally have these kinds of cards -- so it gives them a sense of pride and belonging," Reza-Paul said (Reuters, 7/7). According to a study led by Rajesh Kumar of the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh, India, published in the March 30 online edition of the journal Lancet, HIV prevalence among young people ages 15 to 24 in southern India has declined by about 35%, primarily because of prevention campaigns aimed at sex workers and their clients (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 3/30).
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