Bill Gates meets sex workers in Pune

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Pune (Maharashtra), Nov 7 : Microsoft founder and co-chairman of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates, visited sex workers in Pune.

Gates along with his wife Melinda visited the red light area of Budhwar Peth in Pune to create awareness amongst the sex workers regarding AIDS on Thursday.

The purpose of Bill Gates' visit to the area was also to review two projects, funded by the foundation, on prevention of sexually transmitted infection.

"The visit was confidential and we were not aware that Gates was going to visit us," said Meena Kurlekar, Director Vanchit Vikas, a voluntary organization working for the sex workers.

"He (Bill Gates) took a look at the working of the clinic and had discussions with our paramedics. I think it (the visit) should be good," added Kurlekar.

The Gates Foundation started operations in India in 2003 and has committed over 200 million dollars to HIV prevention in India, its largest commitment to the campaign in any country.

The other initiatives of the Foundation include 'Avahan', where 258 million dollars have been committed in the first phase of the project towards India's AIDS-control initiatives.

The Foundation has been providing grants for public health activities, notably in the areas of HIV/AIDS prevention and communication.

There are 2.47 million persons in India living with HIV, equivalent to approximately 0.36 per cent of the adult population.

ANI

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