Changing face of sex work in times of the AIDS epidemic: a study of male clients of female sex workers in India

Sudipta Mondal, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)

Recently sex work in big cities in India has been changing very rapidly in terms of venues, number and types of ‘actors’, ‘disguisedness’ and modes of operation. In the era of HIV/AIDS epidemic, sex work has been connected mainly with the spread of STIs in which much emphasis is laid on sex workers neglecting the wide role of clients. This paper, outcome of an ongoing PhD work based on primary data collected intends to study the ‘actual’ male clients of FSWs to assess the changing pattern of their role, preferences, expectations and practises, and to understand how much of these changes are demand driven with an ethnographic survey.Preliminary analysis of the data hints that a large part of this is a coping strategy both on the part of sex trade and also clients in response to HIV/AIDS related stigma and discrimination and changing perception of risk.

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Presented in Poster Session 1