Online prostitution: A big challenge for health officials

Online prostitution is increasing at a rapid rate. How to gather the information and provide health services to women involved in online prostitution has become a growing matter of concern for Mumbai District AIDS Control Society (MDACS)

Online prostitution: A big challenge for health officials

In Mumbai, there are 14,000 thousand prostitutes, whose health is regularly monitored. But, increasing day-to-day online prostitution has raised the health concerns and which is giving a tough time to the health officials. As, the health officials are unable to trace these women and provide them the required healthcare services.

While talking about sex workers, Dr Shrikala Acharya, Mumbai District AIDS Control Society’s Project Director said, “There have been many discussions about how to locate online sex workers. The sex workers are being traced through mobile phone and then, they are being asked about their health. But it is difficult to locate these women through online websites. So through the medium of social media, we are trying to come up with the solutions to tackle the problem of providing healthcare for these women.”

She added, “With the increasing use of social media, online prostitution has also increased. Due to which, healthcare system is facing challenges. To control HIV and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD’s), MDACS is organising programmes in red light areas of Mumbai, to create awareness.”

Dr Acharya informed, “According to National Aids Control Society, these women are examined twice, in a year, to prevent Aids and STD’s. Due to health check-ups and medications, the percentage of HIV in these women has decreased. But the government does not have any record of women engaged in online prostitution. Therefore, providing health services to women involved in online prostitution has become a growing matter of concern for us.”