No registry on sex workers, but HIV infection down

Last Updated: Tue, Aug 17, 2010 15:50 hrs

It is difficult to maintain a registry on sex workers as they move from one place to another but the government has been able to reach out to them and HIV infection among them has gone down, the Rajya Sabha was told Wednesday.

In a written reply to the upper house, Minister of State for Health Dinesh Trivedi said despite not maintaining a registry, they have been able to reach out to the community.

Asked whether a registry for sex workers in India exists, Trivedi said that 'the dynamics of sex workers operations keeps on changing'.

'Sex workers move from one place to another and assume different names which makes it difficult to keep a registry,' he said.

The minister said the government tries to reach out to the high-risk group through the help of NGOs and community-based organisations.

He added that these measures have helped in reducing the HIV infection among them.

'As per the HIV Sentinel Surveillance (2208-09), the national prevalence of HIV among the sex workers is 4.92 percent and it is showing a declining trend,' Trivedi said.

In 2007, the prevalence of HIV among sex workers was 5.06 percent, while in 2006 it was 4.90 percent and in 2005, it stood at 8.44 percent.

In 2004, it was 9.43 percent, as compared to 2003 when it was 10.33 percent, the minister added.

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