In many countries, HIV spreads first among sex workers and their clients before moving to the general population. Sex workers can be male or female and often include children. They are vulnerable to HIV infection because of the frequency of sexual contacts, high numbers of sexual partners, and their limited power to negotiate condom use or resist violent or coercive sex by clients.
PSI's approach to HIV prevention among sex worker populations includes:
- Establishing drop-in centers where sex workers can access HIV prevention materials and referrals for STI treatment and HIV counseling and testing;
- Training peer educators and popular opinion leaders to endorse risk reduction behaviors;
- Recruiting sex workers to help brand condoms, which are then marketed specifically to sex workers and their clients; and
- Targeted behavior change communication campaigns to encourage clients of sex workers to take an active role in protecting themselves, their partners and their families, by reducing their number of sexual partners and using condoms correctly and consistently.
PSI implements HIV interventions targeting sex workers in Cambodia, Cote d'Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Guatemala, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Swaziland, Thailand, Togo and Trinidad.
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Health Areas: HIV