Kolkata: NACO will next month roll out an experimental project for providing HIV-preventive medicine to sex workers in One of Asia’s largest red light districts, West Bengal’s Sonagachi. It will be the first such initiatives in across the country.
The feasibility project recently received clearance from the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) and Union Health Ministry and is likely to commence in December.
“We recently gave clearance to this project. It is a feasibility project. It is for the first time that such a project is being taken up in India,” national programme officer at NACO, BB Rewari, told to the reporters.
Under the project, ‘Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis’ (PrEP), regular medicine would be given to an HIV-negative sex worker who engages sexually with an HIV-positive person, said a senior official of an NGO working for the welfare of sex workers.
The medicine is designed to prevent sex workers from HIV infection, said Samarjit Jana principal of the NGO, Sonagachi Research and Training Institute (SRTI).
“We have already started survey of HIV-positive and HIV- negative sex workers in Sonagachi. We hope the project will start from December this year,” Mr Jana said. The project is to be financed by the Melinda Gates Foundation.