Community building to reduce the HIV/AIDS related stigma among female sex workers in Karnataka, India

PrakashJavalkar Stigma poster 2013.pdf

 A strong association was found between community mobilisation and a reduction in the stigmatising attitudes of female sex workers towards HIV/AIDS.

A pilot study by Karnataka Health Promotion Trust (KHPT) tested the impact of a stigma reduction framework on community-based organisations (CBOs) of FSW (female sex workers) in Karnataka State. The framework was piloted in a total of five different settings by the International Center for Research on Women.

The study in North Karnataka explored the stigma and discrimination against PLHIV among female sex worker in two districts of north Karnataka. Here, sex worker collectives have been functioning for eight years, supported by empowerment programmes to strengthen HIV prevention. 

This poster, selected for the 2013 International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP), highlights key findings from the surveys:

  • significantly lower levels of stigma among FSW who were members of sex work collectives as well as those who were exposed to the targeted intervention
  • stigmatising attitudes among 51% of FSW who were not members of CBOs, compared to 26% among CBO members of CBOs
  • longer duration of CBO membership significantly associated with lower stigma attitude scores as compared to non members


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