One of Asia’s largest red light districts, Sonagachi willnext month roll out an experimental project for providing HIV-preventivemedicine to sex workers in what will be the first such initiative in thecountry.
The feasibility project recently received clearance from theNational AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) and Union Health Ministry and islikely to commence in December.
Under the project, ‘Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis’ (PrEP),regular medicine would be given to an HIV-negative sex worker who engagessexually with an HIV-positive person, said a senior official of an NGO workingfor the welfare of sex workers.
The medicine is designed to prevent sex workers from HIVinfection, said Samarjit Jana principal of the NGO, Sonagachi Research andTraining Institute (SRTI).
The project is to be financed by the Melinda GatesFoundation.