University: Appraisal of a Health Promotion InitiativeThe Sonagachi Project: A sustainable community intervention program. IntroductionThe Sonagachi project was a community health promotion early intervention and prevention initiative developed in order to help in the promotion of use of STI treatment and health services amongst sex workers in India to reduce incidences of HIV. Health promotion programs are important in the mobilization of communities towards attitude and eventually behavior change. In order to influence an area as important as HIV, it is important for promotion initiatives to be guided by best practices (Campbell & Cornish, 2010).
Healthcare is a multifaceted issue, and so is behavior change. Consequently, best practices cannot be determined using a linear perspective. Several aspects need to be considered in order to come up with determinants of best practices in health promotion initiatives. When it comes to health promotion involving HIV issues, behavior change through community mobilization is the most common approach (Campbell & Cornish, 2010). The cores strategy in these initiatives is community mobilization owing to the fact that the disease is spread through social means. This paper will provide an overview of the best practices expected in a community intervention program.
The Sonagachi program will be summarized and an analysis of the program done as regards to the best practices. HIVHIV, in this context, will be described as an occupational health issue. Understanding the infection on its own will give insight as to the nature of its link sex workers and to the community. The most common transmission method of the HIV virus is through sexual intercourse, which happens to be the medium of exchange for sex workers. Being infected with the HIV virus does not conclusively mean that one will develop the full blown AIDS disease.
However, this is dependent on how the individual manages the infection (Cornish & Ghosh, 2007). Knowledge of what to do is an important issue. AIDS is among the deadliest worldwide epidemics in the history of humanity. While most countries saw the epidemic peak in the late nineties, most in Southeast Asia were still experiencing the same increase in infection rate in the early 21st century. The number of individual living with HIV/AIDS has also increased exponentially owing to the availability of better drug treatments.
Heath experts have come to terms with the fact that a cure for the infection is not plausible. They now believe that the most effective method of treating the disease is to prevent people from getting infected with HIV (Shannon & Montaner, 2012). Most of programs aimed towards educating the public on prevention target risky behavior associated with transmission. Health promotion and HIV among sex workersHIV is an important issue for sex workers. Not only does it affect their personal and social lives, but also their occupational choice.
The nature of their occupation puts them at a greater risk of contracting HIV. According to UNAIDS, less than 50% sex workers have access to HIV prevention programs (Shannon & Montaner, 2012). The problems addressed by the Sonagachi project have a firm foundation on fundamental risks that sex workers expose themselves to. In addition, HIV is a disease that affects those infected for the rest of their lives. Consequently a prevention approach is bound to prove more effective.