A group of sex workers from different parts of Karnataka on Monday inaugurated an academy which is first of its kind in Asia Pacific to spread public awareness about HIV and AIDS.
The project has been initiated in collaboration with UNAIDS and Ashodaya Samiti, a Mysore based organization working for the health case issues of sex workers in Karnataka.
'Ashodaya Academy' will be run and maintained exclusively by the sex workers.
Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, on this occasion appreciated the programme intended to raise concerns among those who are infected by the disease and said the aim of the project should be to cover diverse areas in the State.
"Being an academy without academics where the sex workers are the faculty, this noble academy is first of its kind in the Asia Pacific region. The first regional training programme has brought in many delegates from abroad also," B. S. Yeddyurappa said.
UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe said that the regional learning site would help to change sex workers lives.
"I think this regional learning site, which we are offering today, is about taking the initiative to solve problem. It is about making sure that each of those, who needs the help, get it on timely basis. It will also be to eternalize the skills and knowledge which will help the sex workers to change their life," Sidibe said.
It is estimated that there are 2.5 million people in the country who are affected by HIV and AIDS.
While, National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) describes Karnataka as a "highly prevalent State", when it comes to the disease.