Communicating Health as an Impossibility: Sex Work, HIV/AIDS, and the Dance of Hope and Hopelessness

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Sex workers are stigmatized, denied access to civil society platforms and health resources, and considered at high risk of contracting HIV and AIDS. Most top-down health campaigns that attempt to persuade them to use condoms on their jobs do not consider the significant contextual factors that shape their lives. This study is based on the premise that health campaigns in subaltern sex worker spaces need to accommodate participants' voices. Set in a sex worker community in Kalighat, Kolkata, India, this ethnographic project documents how sex workers within a dialectic of hope and hopelessness contextualize health as an impossibility in the present.

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Southern Communication Journal, v. 75, issue 4, p. 413-432