Staff Reporter

Organisations involved in HIV prevention efforts share views

Centre for Advocacy and Research organises

the event

Female sex workers seek media support for strengthening anti-AIDS drive

VIJAYAWADA: It was a platform created to bring closer media and community-based organisations implementing targeted interventions as part of community empowerment.

A regional media consultation on targeted intervention organised at Hotel Fortune Murali Park on Friday by the Centre for Advocacy and Research (CFAR) was aimed at creating a conducive atmosphere for sharing of experiences on community-led HIV prevention efforts between community members and media personnel.

Display of embroidered products, toys and many other articles at the venue was an added attraction. It was a novel drive of income generation programme embarked upon by female sex workers who have turned into community guides now.

Skill development

The skill development is to provide an alternative to those eager to come out of flesh trade and opt for other sources of income.

“The National AIDS Control Programme, in coordination with Andhra Pradesh AIDS Control Society (APSACS), is focussed at the moment on increasing the number of targeted inventions (TIs),” said Narender Revelli, Programme Manager for CFAR.

The session was attended by a good number of female sex workers besides a few MSM (men who have sex with men).

Priority area

“The thrust of NACP-III is to halt and reverse HIV/AIDS epidemic in India by 2012 and it gives highest priority to the TIs for high-risk group population like female sex workers, MSMs and Injecting Drug Users (IDUs) for effective HIV prevention,” said Mr. Revelli.

“So great is the role of targeted interventions in the drive that an additional number of 27 TIs have been included in the on-going 100-odd TIs,” he said. The TIs were mainly being implemented in Krishna, Guntur, Nellore, Ongole and West Godavari districts in Andhra Pradesh.

Speaking on the occasion, community members listed the several measures initiated by them to educate their peers and prevent HIV not just among their community members but also among general public. They said efforts were also on to prevent girls below 18 years from turning into sex workers.

Citing statistics, the female sex workers disagreed with the contention that they were responsible for the rapid spread of HIV.

They also sought media support for the strengthening of anti-AIDS drive launched by the community members.