Understanding the migration patterns and associated HIV/AIDS vulnerability among rural female sex workers in northern Karnataka and southern Maharashtra
Payana is the name of a research project, entitled “Understanding the migration patterns and associated HIV/AIDS vulnerability among rural female sex workers in northern Karnataka and southern Maharashtra” This Research project is funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and implemented by University of Manitoba, Canada in collaboration with Karnataka Health Promotion Trust (KHPT).
As title indicates, the goal is to increase knowledge about the patterns of migration of rural female sex workers (FSWs) and the impact of this migration on HIV risk and vulnerability and transmission dynamics in a defined geographic area of south India. The Main approach to assess the factors that contribute to risk and vulnerabilities among FSWs, followed by a cohort study of around 700 migrant and 700 non-migrant FSWs with periodic follow-up interviews.
These cohort members are recruited and followed up either at the place of their origin in Karnataka or at the place of destination in Maharastra.A total of 142 Villages( 59 from Bagalkot, 47 from Belgaum and 36 from Bijapur districts) have been selected from three districts of North Karnataka .
Payana has three specific objectives.Thse objectives are met through the various quantitative and qualitative surveys:
1. To describe the migration patterns and determinants among female sex workers in northern Karnataka and southern Maharashtra.
Ethical Consideration :
2. To describe the individual, structural, societal and contextual factors which contribute to HIV risk and vulnerability among migrant and non-migrant FSWs.
3. To analyze the impact of mobile FSWs on HIV transmission dynamics in rural areas of northern Karnataka
This research project is approved by Institutional Ethical Review Board, St. John’s Medical College & Hospital, Bangalore, Research Ethics Board, University of Manitoba, Canada.
Advisory and Grievance Redressal Committee has been set up at the beginning of the project. The role of this committee is to ensure ethical guidelines are followed during the study period. And safeguard and address community’s and study participant’s interests and concerns during study period. This committee hold periodic meetings in one of the study districts to review the progress and address the concerns if any.
To carry out this study, a multi-faceted research team has been recruited and trained.
The filed research team has been trained on the research ethics and interview skills before the start of data collection. Graduates with a social science background, motivated to work with marginalized populations have been selected as Field Research Investigators. The field research team is oriented to follow ethical guidelines and brief study participants about the study procedures and clarify their doubts and answer queries raised by the potential participant. As a principle voluntary participation of the study participants is ensured. Consent (written) is obtained from the potential participant by administering the consent form designed for the purpose. A team of 60 Community Researchers (20 from each districts) are the bridge between the cohort members and the project. Payana started in the year 2007, but the actual data collection started in the January 2008 and it will go on till November 2009.