Programming Connection


Asian Society for the Intervention of AIDS (ASIA)
Vancouver, British Columbia

Lessons Learned

  • Gaining entry to massage parlours where sexual services are being provided requires patience and persistence to firmly establish trust with managers and sex workers.
  • Understanding the complex social, legal, economic and cultural issues involved in indoor sex work is critical in connecting with female Asian sex workers employed in massage parlours.
  • Providing safer-sex information in the primary language of the target population increases the ability of sex workers in this group to understand and apply the information.
  • Working with partner organizations to meet different needs of the target population can build trust with sex workers as well as their employers, in turn establishing the project’s reputation as trustworthy with a more extensive community of sex workers.
  • In cases where peers have disclosed their own experience in the sex trade with sex workers, the outreach team develops trusting relationships more quickly with the women they serve.