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“The only thing necessary for these diseases to the triumph is for good people and governments to do nothing.”

      

Kama Sutra guide to safe sex
By Subir Bhaumik, BBC correspondent in Calcutta
BBC News

*********

The government in India's West Bengal State is supporting a programme that
offers prostitutes an ancient solution to modern concerns about safe sex.

"Kama Sutra has many postures that can give men the highest pleasure
without consummation and that is what the prostitutes are being
taught. "They are learning something very useful," says Rajyashree
Choudhuri, chief of the Institute of International Social Development
(IISD), who designed the project.

Until now, thousands of Calcutta's sex-workers have tried to force
customers to use condoms. Their powerful organisation, Durbar Mahila
Samannoy Samity, has decreed that all their members perform safe sex and
customers trying to force sex workers to have intercourse without condoms
are thrown out of brothels.

 



Three hour session

But what happens if a customer refuses to use condoms? The prostitutes
lose business, which they can ill afford. That is a situation the IISD is
teaching them to avoid. In a conference hall in the posh southern locality
of Gariahat, the IISD is running its "safe sex" workshop, with backing
from the West Bengal AIDS Control Society.

Sex-workers from the city's major red light districts are joining up in
droves.

"We will back any programme on safe sex. The number of HIV patients in
West Bengal is increasing and we want to control it at any cost," says
Sachinanda Sarkar, assistant director of the AIDS Control Society. Last
year, 1,137 HIV cases were reported in the state. More than 600 cases have
been reported this year.

Dozens of prostitutes turn up for the workshop and are taken through the
voluminous Kama Sutra, India's most famous ancient treatise on sex. The
training lasts for two to three hours.

 



"They are specifically taught foreplay and other poses that will give men
a high degree of pleasure," said Rajyashree Choudhury. "We teach the girls
the art of ensuring a premature but very satisfying discharge by tactfully
avoiding intercourse. The Kama Sutra is a treasure house for all that."

A large percentage of HIV/AIDS patients in India acquire the virus through
unprotected sex.


Source: BBC News, Friday, 8 August, 2003
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/3133947.stm