India; HIV; Karnataka

India: Community Empowerment Key to Turning Tide on HIV

November 28, 2012 – Sex worker Akram Pasha remembers when his hometown of Mysore, India—an idyllic south­­ern tourist hub known for a Maharajah’s palace and its many universities—stood on the brink of an explosive epidemic.

In 2004, a new community-based organization in the city, called Ashodaya Samithi, conducted a first-ever survey of local sex workers and found an HIV prevalence of 25%.

Rates and determinants of HIV-attributable mortality among rural female sex workers in Northern Karnataka, India

Female sex workers (FSWs) have among the highest rates of HIV infection in India. However, little is known about their HIV-specific mortality rates. In total, 1561 FSWs participated in a cohort study in Karnataka. Outcome data (mortality) were available on 1559 women after 15 months of follow-up. To gather details on deaths, verbal autopsy (VA) questionnaires were administered to key informants. Two physicians reviewed the VA reports and assigned underlying causes of death.

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