Suicidal behavior among female sex workers in Goa, India: the silent epidemic

Shahmanesh M, Wayal S, Cowan F, Mabey D, Copas A, Patel V, Ngugi EN. "Suicidal behavior among female sex workers in Goa, India: the silent epidemic.". 2007.


Given that sex work is stigmatized In more countries Ihan not, it is likely to cause stress and increase sUicidal behaviour. This is significant and Iherefore the interventions should also include psychosocial counselling in order to support the sex workers' coping mechanisms. The findings of this study show that sooro-eccoormc empowerment reduces HIV risks in female sex workers who are from a low socio-economic class. My experience too has shown thai an empathetic attitude from care providers increases the sex-workers' self-worth and therefore the ability to cope. Studies have shown that female sex work in Africa, part of ASia and some inner cities of developed countries is poverty-driven. The majority of women are really practising survival as they also have children to feed, clothe and send to school. My experience in Kenya is that the interaction between poverty and stigma increases stress and therefore SUicidal tendency. The added problem is when the female sex worker would also turn out to be HIV-infected. Holistic and responsive interventions are recommended for quality mental health in female sex workers A major question that still remains IS how can poverty-driven sex work be effectively reduced. A limitation of the study is that the study population size was not sufficiently large to allow generalization. For further reading please see ret (1}. on which I am an author. whose results give female sex workers power to reduce dependency on sex income or exit.

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