Southern India prostitutes have been awarded with discount shopping cards in return for having regular checks for HIV at a sexual health clinic as part of the HIV/AIDS awareness program.
According to the UNAIDS which is the United Nation's AIDS-prevention agency India has largest number of people, an estimated 5.7 million people living with the HIV virus.
Sushena Reza-Paul of the Karnataka Health Promotion Trust said, "They were very particular about us including a sari shop. Presentation is very important for them.
Although several shops and restaurants in Mysore were initially hesitant about being associated with the sex workers' project, they eventually relented when they realized that so many card-carrying sex workers would definitely increase the number of paying customers.
Reza-Paul also said that flashing a credit card-sized piece of plastic helped to boost the sex workers' self-esteem.
She said, 'They tell me that only rich people can normally have these kind of cards -- so it gives them a sense of pride and belonging.'
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