Indian museum combats spread of HIV

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Mumbai is home to Kamathipura, India's largest red-light district.

An Indian sex museum Antarang in Mumbai teaches sex workers and their clients safer sex. According to the museum's management, the visitors find learning about safer sex from the graphic exhibits more effective than from lectures. The museum is run by the government as a part of anti-HIV program.

Antarang is a one-room exhibition displaying models of human anatomy and illustrations. This is the only sex museum in India. Since the museum is located in the red light district a great bulk of its visitors are prostitutes who visit the museum together with their partners being taken there by health workers.

There are about 5.7 million people infected with HIV in India - more than in any other country. This number is expected to quadruple by 2010 unless people become less reluctant to speak about the vital necessity of safe sex openly. Indian authorities use many innovative ways to spread necessary knowledge about safer sex and awareness of sexually transmitted diseases.

Many of prostitutes who visited the museum say Antarang changed their lives as they realized the necessity of using a condom.

Indian authorities plan to open another sex museum away from the red light district in order to attract a wider audience.