Number of sex workers increasing

Kathmandu, February 16

The National Centre for AIDS and STD control released a data on the population at greatest risk of STDs in coordination with Save the Children, the Global Fund, and other related national networks in Kathmandu today.

The report developed from a survey conducted in 2010 identified the following population groups as most at-risk of STDs in the country in the following order: female sex workers, transgenders, men who have sex with men, male sex workers, people who inject drugs, migrant workers, and their sexual partners.

The data showed that the number of sex workers was increasing in the country.

According to the report, there are between 43,829 and 54,197 female sex workers in the country.

In the same way, it is estimated that are around 89,826 to 111,852 transgenders, 15,941 to 20,625 male sex workers, and 53,185 to 67,064 men who have sex with men. Similarly, it is estimated that around 27,226 to 34,375 people inject drugs. Of them, around 24,550 to 30,449 are male, and 2,676 to 3,926 are estimated to be female.

Director of NCASC Dr Tarun Paudel said the increasing number of sex workers recorded in the data is worrying, as it could cause an increase in HIV/AIDS and other STD patients in the country. He said, “The research can be helpful in formulating programmes and plans to prevent and control the spread of HIV/AIDS in the country.”

Dr Paudel said it was very difficult to conduct a research on the issue because of its sensitivity.

As per estimated data, Kathmandu has the highest number of female sex workers at around 9,789 to 11,670. Similarly, there are more than 3,000 people who inject drugs and over 42,000 transgenders, male sex workers and men who have sex with men in Kathmandu. Bhaktapur has the second highest number of female sex workers, Lalitpur the third, and Kaski has the fourth highest number of female sex workers in the country.