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date: 27 October 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article explores the relationship between HIV/AIDS and commercial sex work (csw) in the developing world.. It also considers the role of csw in economic growth in developing countries and how the law can help reduce the harm associated with csw. The article begins by contextualizing HIV infection in poor countries and its potential to ruin economic growth and proceeds to discuss how epidemics usually start at concentrated population sub-groups and spread from these sub-groups to the general population through conduits consisting of certain segments of the population itself. It also examines the risks of infection for both commercial sex workers and clients associated with promiscuous behaviors; issues such as the inadequate HIV-related knowledge and public policy and campaigns. Finally, it outlines the reasons why women still choose to engage in prostitution despite the risks of HIV/AIDS and presents examples of successful interventions in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe.

Keywords: AIDS, commercial sex work, sub-Saharan Africa, economic growth, developing countries, HIV infection, commercial sex workers, promiscuous behaviors, public policy, prostitution

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