Prostitution, Mobile Phones, and AIDS

November 26, 2012 in Daily Bulletin

Cell phones have transformed prostitution…and thus the fight against AIDS in India writes Gardiner Harris:

  • India’s fight against AIDS has been remarkable. It is in part due to efforts funded by the World Bank and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • Instead of broadcasting safe-sex messages that encouraged the use of condoms across India, anti-AIDS campaigners targeted certain districts where prostitution was common. This targeted resources where they were most needed and limited the spread of AIDS.
  • However this was only possible because prostitutes were located in certain districts. Now they find their clients through mobile phones, and thus prostitution has become decentralized.
  • Prostitutes are less likely to use protection when they’re operating outside of brothels and this will likely impede the fight against AIDS.
  • Moreover with the anonymity offered by mobile phones, more men are interested in hiring prostitutes.

Read more about the decline of a prostitution district that has survived more than five centuries, and what the future might hold for India over here.

Source: The Times of India