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People Just Like You....

PEOPLE JUST LIKE YOU: DON'T BLAME IT ON THE SEX WORKERS -
By Aditya Bastola

Organised efforts towards minimising the commercial sex industry's impact on the spread of HIV/AIDS often incorporate the assumption that it is the behaviour of the sex workers themselves that should be targeted for change. Based on fieldwork conducted in Pune, the second city of India's Maharashtra state, this article considers such an approach to be inadequate, arguing that more attention needs to be focused on the roles particularly of regular clients and of women sex workers' non-paying sexual partners. The practice of unsafe sex within the sex-trade should not be seen solely as a consequence of sex-workers relative ignorance of the dangers, but also in relation to the need to maximise earnings under conditions of exploitation and poverty. Furthermore, the epidemic needs to be addressed in the context of a society that is relatively conservative in its attitudes towards sex and sex education,…