As reported in the Indian Express, around 250 sex workers were amongst those who took part in a silent rally on Friday 10th February in Mysore in opposition to a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the European Union aoround the supply of generic life-saving drugs.
The rally was organised by "Ashraya", an organisation comprising sex workers and non-sex workers living with HIV, under the umbrella of parent body Ashodaya Samithi in Mysore.
The availability of generic drugs that the Indian pharmaceutical industry manufactures and supplies at an affordable cost to over 96 countries across the globe saves many lives.
An FTA would mean thousands of people living with HIV in India would no longer be able to receive these drugs as costs would skyrocket, the organisation warned.
"People living with HIV have a hope with ART. Today our government is able to give it to us free because of its affordable cost. This agreement will snatch this hope away and make us destitute once again. We cannot allow this to happen", said Pallavi T G, President of Ashraya.
"The rally ended on the note that the protest would intensify should the government give in to the EU demands on FTA", she said.