Samvedana Plus

Samvedana Plus: Reducing violence and increasing condom use in the intimate partnerships of female sex workers

Methods:

Violence in the intimate relationships of female sex workers increases their vulnerability to HIV/AIDS. An intervention and evaluation study in northern Karnataka, India, Samvedana Plus seeks to understand and address this form of violence and HIV risk.

Context

KHPT’s decade-long work organising sex worker collectives has succeeded in reducing violence against sex workers from clients, police and gangs. But sex workers continue to experience violence in their intimate relationships with lovers or husbands. This form of violence:

  • causes pain and injury, and violates the women’s right to safety
  • can cause condom breakage
  • can make it difficult for women to negotiate condom use

Implementation

KHPT is implementing Samvedana Plus:

  • with 800 female sex workers and
 their intimate partners
  • in partnership with Chaitanya AIDS Tadegattuwa Mahila Sangha, a community-based organisation (CBO) of sex workers
  • in Bagalkot District in northern Karnataka

The programme and study will run from 2015 to 2017. The design includes successful strategies piloted with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence against Women (UNTF).

Samvedana Plus intervenes with men who are violent, women who face abuse and the wider society. It aims to:

  • change disempowering gender norms 

  • reduce violence 

  • increase condom use among sex workers in their intimate partnerships 
 

The UNTF, What Works to Prevent Violence against Women and Girls consortium and the University of Manitoba, Canada support the intervention.

Study

STRIVE partners KHPT and LSHTM are working together to evaluate the programme. The study:

  • investigates the relationship between social norms and HIV risk in the context of sex workers’ intimate partnerships
  • assesses the efficacy of the intervention in modifying these norms
  • sharpens understanding of the structural drivers of HIV transmission

Publications

Resources