Overviews and Activity Reports
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Social Development
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INTERSECTIONS Gender, HIV, and Infrastructure Operations

From October 2007 to April 2008, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) conducted
a five-country assessment, from a gender perspective, of the impact of selected transport
projects on the spread of HIV. The assessment consisted of a desk review of ADB and
government policies and regulatory frameworks in relation to HIV and to gender. Field
work was carried out in selected project sites in five countries—Cambodia, the People’s
Republic of China (PRC), India, Papua New Guinea (PNG), and Tajikistan. Over 370
interviews and group discussions were conducted with representatives of ministries of
health, public works, transport, infrastructure, and women’s affairs; nongovernment
organizations (NGOs) and other civil society actors; and construction workers, sex
workers, villagers, youth, and people living with HIV.
The people most vulnerable to HIV during infrastructure construction are skilled
and semiskilled male workers—including machine operators, drivers, supervisors,
managers, and engineers—and young, rural, poorly educated women who move to the
construction sites to sell sex. Local laborers are less at risk because they are usually
drawn from the local communities and go back to their partners and families each night.