The extent and nature of fluidity in typologies of female sex work in southern India: Implications for HIV prevention programs

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Article (peer-reviewed)

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These authors examine the nature and extent of fluidity in defining the typology of female sex work based on the place of solicitation or place of sex or both places together, and whether sex workers belonging to a particular typology are at increased risk of HIV in southern India. Data are drawn from a cross-sectional survey conducted during 2007–2008 among mobile female sex workers (N = 5301) in four Indian states. Findings from this study address an important policy issue: Should programmatic prevention interventions be spread to cover all places of sex work or be focused on a few places that cover a large majority of sex workers? Results indicate that most female sex workers, including those who are usually hard to reach such as those who are mobile or who use homes for soliciting clients or sex, can be reached programmatically multiple times by concentrating on a smaller number of categories, such as street-, lodge-, and brothel-based sex workers.