Men who have sex with men for money (in images)

Published: February 1, 2011

The photographs presented here offer a window on the subjects in both the private and public spheres. Most of them live ordinarily as men; many have regular jobs and their nocturnal activity is often kept secret from their family and friends.

Homosexuality was a crime in India until July 2009 and because of the strong conservative values of its culture, misconceptions about homosexuality, transgenderism and prostitution are still widespread in Indian society. The victory which decriminalised homosexuality in India is actually a historic moment as it controlled the spread of HIV, which was urgently required in a dense, populated country, such as India.

Thanks to a large-scale programme aimed at controlling the spread of HIV and AIDS launched by the Indian government, as well as a number of effective media campaigns by government and NGOs, the majority of the MSM and TG community now knows about the transmission of HIV through unprotected sex and has access to free condoms. However, the use of condoms is still inconsistent and comparatively rare. According to a survey in 2004 by an MSM NGO in Mumbai, 20% of the gay community is HIV positive.

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