Community mobilization, empowerment and HIV prevention among female sex workers in south India

Andrea K Blanchard, Haranahalli Lakkappa Mohan, Maryam Shahmanesh, Ravi Prakash, Shajy Isac, Banadakoppa Manjappa Ramesh, Parinita Bhattacharjee, Vandana Gurnani, Stephen Moses and James F Blanchard. BMC Public Health , 2013; 13:234 Download publication (open access)

While community mobilization has been widely endorsed as an important component of HIV prevention among vulnerable populations such as female sex workers (FSWs), there is uncertainty as to the mechanism through which it impacts upon HIV risk.

This study supports the hypothesis that community mobilization has benefits for empowering FSWs both individually and collectively. HIV prevention is strengthened by improving their ability to address different psychosocial and community-level sources of vulnerability.

Future challenges include the need to develop social, political and legal contexts that support community mobilization of FSWs, and to measure the impact of combined community-level interventions on empowerment as a means to HIV prevention.

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