Renu Appachu

Ashoka Fellow
India,
Fellow Since 2003

Citation

This profile was prepared when Renu Appachu was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2003.
The New Idea
Convinced that men can make a difference in controlling the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS by being responsible for their own sexual health, Renu is setting up sexual health clinics in strategic locations to turn transmitters of disease into healthy people. "Role models" bring in their sex partners and clients to these clinics. By providing a place where they can obtain nonjudgmental information about male sexual health, Renu has established trust with the closed community of men who have sex with men (MSMs), transsexuals, transgenders, and transvestites.
In enclosed living and work environments, like prisons, group homes, the hotel industry, and male-dominated corporations, there tends to be a higher incidence of men having sex with other men. To address this issue, she is providing awareness programs and medical facilities to corporate and industry workers.
Renu is in close contact with the male sex workers network in the country, as well as with organizations of men who have sex with men, transsexuals, transgenders, and transvestites. She and her peer counselors are invited to these communities' festivities and gatherings. During this time they disseminate information about sexuality, sexual health, clinical facilities, and counseling.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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