November 25, 2012

Cellphones reshape prostitution in India, imperil AIDS fight

pindia.jpeg Cellphones, those tiny gateways to modernity, have recently allowed prostitutes in India to shed the shackles of brothel madams and strike out on their own. But that independence has made prostitutes far harder for government and safe-sex counselors to trace. And without the advice and free condoms those counselors provide, prostitutes and their customers are returning to dangerous ways. Mercury News reports.

quotemarksright.jpgStudies show that prostitutes who rely on cellphones are more susceptible to HIV because they are far less likely than their brothel-based peers to require their clients to wear condoms. In interviews, prostitutes said they had surrendered some control in the bedroom in exchange for far more control over their incomes.

... India has been the world's most surprising AIDS success story.

An important reason the disease never took extensive hold in India is that most women here have fewer sexual partners than in many other developing countries. Just as important was an intensive effort underwritten by the World Bank and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to target high-risk groups like prostitutes, gay men and intravenous drug users.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article. Photo by John Hurd on Freakonomics

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