Ashodaya Samithi, an organization run by and for female, male, and transgender sex workers in Mysore, India, has worked since 2004 to prevent sexually transmitted infection (STI)/human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission and improve HIV cascade outcomes. We reviewed published and programmatic data, including measures of coverage, uptake, utilization and retention, and relate STI/HIV outcomes to evolving phases of community mobilization. Early interventions designed “for” sex workers mapped areas of sex work and reached half the sex workers in Mysore with condoms and STI services. By late 2005, when Ashodaya Samithi registered as a community-based organization, interventions were implemented “with” sex workers as active partners. Microplanning was introduced to enable peer educators to better organize and monitor their outreach work to reach full coverage. By 2008, programs were run “by” sex workers, with active community decision making. Program data show complete coverage of community outreach and greater than 90% clinic attendance for quarterly checkups by 2010. Reported condom use with last occasional client increased from 65% to 90%. Surveys documented halving of HIV and syphilis prevalence between 2004 and 2009, while gonorrhoea declined by 80%. Between 2005 and 2013, clinic checkups tripled, whereas the number of STIs requiring treatment declined by 99%. New HIV infections also declined, and Ashodaya achieved strong cascade outcomes for HIV testing, antiretroviral treatment linkage, and retention. Program performance dropped markedly during several periods of interrupted funding, then rebounded when restored. Ashodaya appear to have achieved rapid STI/HIV control with community-led approaches including microplanning. Available data support near elimination of curable STIs and optimal cascade outcomes.,
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Department of Public Health

Reza-Paul, S, Steen, R., Maiya, R., Lorway, R., Wi, T.E., Wheeler, T., & Dallabetta, G. (2019). Sex Worker Community-led Interventions Interrupt Sexually Transmitted Infection/Human Immunodeficiency Virus Transmission and Improve Human Immunodeficiency Virus Cascade Outcomes: A Program Review from South India. Sexually Transmitted Diseases, 46(8), 556–562. doi:10.1097/olq.0000000000001020