The project from which this book emerged developed out of a
three- month internship in 1996, when, as a master’s student in
public health, I worked with an international nongovernmental
organization (ngo) devoted to preventing hiv transmission in the
main red- light districts of Mumbai. At that time, ngos focusing
on sex work in India had been operating for less than ten years,
spurred into existence by the flow of new international funding
streams that had become available to organizations working in
Asia, Africa, and Latin America on the heels of the first decade
of the aids pandemic. Funds for hiv-related work from the Eu-
ropean Union, Sweden, Norway, and Canada to India, funneled
through then relatively new entities like India’s National aids
Control Organization (naco), provided the infrastructural sup-
port for both governmental and nongovernmental efforts to sur-
veil, control, and eventually treat hiv infection and aids. Local
organizations had emerged and used these funds to provide hiv-
related services to sex workers, men who have sex with men, and
hijras (people assigned male sex at birth who live as a “third sex” in
the feminine range of the gender spectrum). At the same time, an
antitrafficking framework composed of laws, policies, and theo-
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