The sex workers in Periyackulam district, Tamil Nadu say "Sex without condoms: those days are gone!". 8 years ago it was observed that though women in sex work were aware about the use of condoms to prevent STIs and HIV they were exposed to infections. When the Siaap, team discussed in detail certain facts emerged such as emergencies in the family, ill health, debts and arrest by police caused financial crisis. In order to solve the crisis they had to raise more money so they gave-in to demands of clients to have sex without condoms for more money. Male clients perceived that use of condoms during sex reduces pleasure. The local money lenders exploited their needs. These factors made the women more vulnerable to the HIV and other infections.
The sex workers in a discussion with the Siaap team, planned to start a mutual financial support services (thrift and credit societies), where the women deposited money and received loans. In the initial phase loans were taken for very basic needs such as buying groceries, medicines. They gradually developed into a strong organisation, they began to trust that their financial institution. In the next two years this led to increase in ability to manage financial crisis. They successfully eliminated the exploitation of money lenders. The women became more confident to say no to clients who demanded sex without condoms even in the event of financial crisis because now, they had the support of their mutual financial institutions. They went further to reduced the number of clients per day. These changes in their personal and professional life reduced their vulnerability to HIV.