Forced prostitution raises risk of HIV/AIDS infection

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Women in India who are forced into prostitution or sex trafficking are almost three times more likely to be HIV-infected than those who joined the industry voluntarily, according to Kathleen Wirth, ScD ’11, research fellow in the Department of Epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and the Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership in Gaborone, Botswana.

“Involuntary sex work is not only a human rights crisis, but also exacts a devastating toll on health,” Wirth wrote in a November 28, 2013 online opinion piece in the New York Times.