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India teaches the Kama Sutra to combat HIV

Officials in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal are teaching sex workers the traditional Hindu treatise on sex, Kama Sutra, in an attempt to check the spread of HIV/Aids, a report said on Thursday.

The courses are being conducted by the state government’s Aids Control Society at Sonagachi, the red light area of the state’s capital Calcutta. It is being backed by India’s Institute of Social Development (IISD), a non-governmental organisation, the Indian Express newspaper reported.

The courses are aimed at teaching the prostitutes how to use Kama Sutra techniques to help their clients derive sexual pleasure without actually engaging in sexual intercourse. IISD chief Rajyashree Choudhury said the techniques would help sex workers whose clients refuse to use condoms.

”The prostitutes have to give in or lose the customer. This increases the risk of spreading the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) among the girls if they give in and also to men when they find someone who will agree to unprotected sex,” she said.

”Since 88% of HIV/Aids cases come from unsafe sex, the various ways laid down in the Kama Sutra can be resorted to by prostitutes to help their customers achieve pleasure. The girls are quite responsive,” Choudhury said.

Last year, West Bengal reported 1 137 new HIV cases and so far this year 603 new cases have been reported.

India has about four-million HIV/Aids cases according to the United Nations Aids control organisation UNAids. – Sapa-DPA

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