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Female Sex Worker

Definition (for the purpose of TIs): An adult woman who engages in consensual sex for money or payment in kind as her principal source of livelihood.

A full time FSW has at least one client per day or at least 30 clients per month and nearly 400 clients in a year. Higher prevalence of HIV is observed among the FSWs (i.e. generally 10-20 % or more as per the Sentinel Surveillance) than general population. Due to the higher prevalence of HIV in FSWs the higher proportion of sexual relationship could result in HIV transmission.

Typologies of FSWs:

The sex workers are a heterogeneous group in any locale/area. Based on where they work and more specifically on where they recruit or solicit clients and where they live or actually entertain the clients, FSWs are divided into 6 main categories:

The categories are often overlapping and fluid as a sex worker may be a street based for sometime and then goes into a contract with a lodge owner to become lodge based or a brothel based sex worker may move to another town or city temporarily and work as a street based sex worker. Under the TIs the sex workers are categorized based on their primary identity and terms of engagement in the sex trade..

It is important to note that certain typologies (brothel and lodge/dhaba based sex workers) may have higher client volumes than home based sex workers and they therefore have a higher risk profile, requiring special focus even within the categories of FSW.


 

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