New Delhi: A growing number of sex workers in the country are stepping beyond the immures of brothels and using mobile phones and Internet to solicit clients, posing a hurdle to health workers who find it difficult to identify this "invisible group" for HIV prevention programmes. This came to light in a recent study by NGO Population Council which claimed that a number of factors, including a decrease in the number of people visiting brothels and the stigma attached to these areas, are increasingly driving sex workers to resort to new-age technology to contact potential clients. "HIV intervention has taken a beating due to this emerging trend with health workers grappling to identify this `invisible` group that mostly contacts clients using phones and Internet and draw them to lodges," says Niranjan Saggurti, a researcher in Population Council, who was part of the study.
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