About one million women sell sex in South Asia: Report

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Kathmandu, Nov 2 (UNI) Sex business, considered as the main contributor to HIV/AIDS spread, is on the rise in the South Asia region where around one million women sell sex, according to a report.

"Around 1,000,000 Asian women sell sex for their livelihood" the report prepared by the Commission on AIDS in Asia has said. The report was made public yesterday.

It stated that those sex workers have been serving seven people a day. The report has put the number of regular male service-takers from sex workers at 7,000,000.

It said male-male sex and drug injecting add another 20 million to the number of men at high risk of HIV infection.

A portion of those men, particularly injectors, may also pass HIV on to the women with whom they regularly have sex, putting several million more women at risk. The report said few women in Asia have sex with more than one partner.

The report said HIV epidemics in Asia are highly unlikely to sustain themselves in the "general population" independently of commercial sex, drug injecting and sex between men.

Low levels of condom use during paid sex, the report said, contribute to increasing HIV infection. Programmes for increasing use of condoms with sex workers will do more than any other intervention to control HIV infections in Asia.

The report has also put drug injectors at-risk. The countries, it said, should promote the use of sterile equipment, and encourage safe sex between drug users and their sexual partners.

UNI XC SV HT1657

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