2 July,The India Post:Yuvsatta an NGO working with State AIDS Control Society for sex workers in Chandigarh, initiated a Project SHAKTI which means giving strength to people from have-not segments of the society, especially the female sex workers.
According to NACP – III they are promoting usage of Condoms, healthy life-style, treatment seeking behavior of people with regard to sexually transmitted diseases and will also be motivating people to know their HIV status by way of uniting them under the umbrella of ‘Self-Help Groups’. To further strengthen this initiative Health Care Providers working in the project organized three meeting of sex workers in their targeted areas in the city, where around 80 sex workers participated and they were given information about ‘Velvet’-the female condoms, which presently is available for Rs. 100/- a packet containing three pieces of condoms. Now, in this month long female condom promotion campaign Health Care Providers will reach out to sex workers motivating them to use this new form of effective contraceptive.
For spreading the word, active members of ‘Self-Help Groups’ (SHG’s), formed under Project Shakti are roped in. ‘They may not buy it if the price is higher,’ says Mrs. Rupinder Kaur, Project Manager with Yuvsatta. ‘Nevertheless, the potential is high as tool for family planning and protection from sexually transmitted diseases amongst the available choices’, says Parmod Sharma, Coordinator, Yuvsatta, he further states that when used alone, the condom is nearly as effective as the pill (98-99%) in preventing pregnancy’.
‘Claims that condoms cause decreased sensitivity or a reduction of sexual pleasure are misleading. In reality, using condoms can be quite erotic. Certainly, their correct and consistent use can promote a healthy, relaxed attitude towards having a safe, responsible, satisfying sexual relationship’ adds Anita a Counselor with the Project.
According to one of the sex worker they don’t have a choice to say ‘no’ and where even urban men refuse to wear condoms, adopting female condoms give them an advantage to safe guard themselves from HIV and sexually transmitted diseases.