There is growing awareness and concern in the State of Tamilnadu

(Population 60million) that AIDS will become a major health problem at the turn the century. It is estimated that prevalence of HIV among Sex workers in Chennai is nearly 10%. One of the reasons of great concern are the high prevalence and incidence rates of STI in Tamilnadu. It is estimated that at any given moment one out of 25 high risk adult men in the urban areas of the State is infected with an STI. Combined with the low usage rates of condom this will lead to an explosive increase in the spread of HIV.

From the available data is becomes clear that sex workers and clients in Chennai are now among the most severely hit by HIV and AIDS. Since HIV prevalence rates in the general population are still relatively low the most cost effective way of slowing the spread of HIV would be to make an assessment research of sex workers and their clients and followed by a rapid intervention.

There is an urgent need to


In Tamil culture sex is a taboo and prostitution is repressed. However this dose not restrain men from visiting prostitutes. This practice is more in the case of men who live separated from their families like workers in the city who have left their wives behind in the village. Clients are the main categories of men who escape social control and have sex with multiple partners.

Sex workers and clients who are already infected are passing on the virus to others. Married clients pass it on to their wives who in most cases are not empowered to insist on condom use.Through the mother newly born children be infected. Those who are young and unmarried get infected and will pass the virus on to their future wives and children.

The travelers among the clients spread the virus to other female sex workers in other parts of the state.Female sex workers are among the most repressed categories of women. AIDS adds a significant new problem to their already long list. Most of these women have children who are also at risk of being orphaned.


The overall objective of the study is to reach the situation regarding prostitution in the Chennai and thus to provide the solid groundwork for designing strategies and approaches to halt HIV transmission in this circuit. The research will be explanatory and ethnographic – and will be a first step in development of intervention with the target groups of the sex workers and their clients in chennai.


Document on Assessment research of sexworkers and their clients in Chennai