RMF Inaugurates “Drop in Center” for Female Sex Workers, Madhya Pradesh, India
June 9, 2010
On May 26th, Real Medicine Foundation and its partner, Jeevan Jyoti Health Service Society, inaugurated the first of two “Drop in Centers” for Female Sex Workers (FSWs) under our HIV/AIDS Targeted Intervention with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
Located in Meghnagar at the crossroads of the bus-station and next to the train station, the Drop in Centre is a place where womencan come to feel safe, exchange information, receive information and counseling about HIV/AIDS, get referrals for testing, get condoms, come to classes or information sessions about HIV/AIDS, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and general women’s health. It will also be the location for weekly clinic hours by a local OB-GYN and quarterly, large scale, health camps.
In addition to the HIV/AIDS, STI and health information, we are hoping that the women will make this space their own. Our six dynamic peer counselors helped pick out the new paint, provided some basic furniture, and put posters on the walls to make is more homely.
They will inform other women that they can go to the center anytime, and we also plan to hold literacy classes, minor vocational trainings, “beauty days,” henna classes, and other activities to make the women feel that they have a safe place to be, to cook, to meet with peers, and get as much information as they can.
In Addition to being a valuable place for sex workers to get information and feel safe, the idea fits perfectly with RMF’s commitment to providing “whole” health to individuals. With information, access to condoms and testing, or just a place to sit and chat and feel safe, the Drop In Center in Meghnagar will be a place where at-risk women can come and get, or stay, healthy both physically and mentally.
You can view more pictures from this event here.