Epidemic Of Abuse:

Police Harassment Of HIV/AIDS Outreach Workers In India

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Widespread police abuse of front-line AIDS prevention workers in India is undermining efforts to contain one of the worst epidemics in the world, Human Rights Watch said today.Several organizations in India have succeeded in empowering women in prostitution to demand condom use of their clients. One such organization, SANGRAM in Sangli, Maharashtra State, helped AIDS educators distribute 350,000 condoms per month in twelve districts among sex workers and others at risk. But in recent months, police abuse of SANGRAM’s workers as well as of others in Bangalore and Tamil Nadu State has sabotaged their life-saving work.In Bangalore, HIV/AIDS peer educators working with women in prostitution were beaten severely by the police. One AIDS worker had hot chili powder rubbed into her eyes and vagina. Police perpetrators of these crimes have gone unpunished.

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