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(CNSNews.com) -- The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAA), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), will pay $2.6 million in U.S. tax dollars to train Chinese prostitutes to drink responsibly on the job.

Dr. Xiaoming Li, the researcher conducting the program, is director of the Prevention Research Center at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit.

The grant, made last November, refers to prostitutes as "female sex workers"--or FSW--and their handlers as "gatekeepers."

"Previous studies in Asia and Africa and our own data from FSWs [female sex workers] in China suggest that the social norms and institutional policy within commercial sex venues as well as agents overseeing the FSWs (i.e., the 'gatekeepers', defined as persons who manage the establishments and/or sex workers) are potentially of great importance in influencing alcohol use and sexual behavior among establishment-based FSWs," says the NIH grant abstract submitted by Dr. Li.

"Therefore, in this application, we propose to develop, implement, and evaluate a venue-based alcohol use and HIV risk reduction intervention focusing on both environmental and individual factors among venue-based FSWs in China," says the abstract.

The research will take place in the southern Chinese province of Guangxi.

Guangxi is ranked third in HIV rate among Chna's provinces--and is a place where the sex business is pervasive, Li said.

“The purpose of the project is to try and develop an intervention program targeting HIV risk and alcohol use,” Li told CNSNews.com. “So basically, it’s an alcohol and HIV risk reduction intervention project."

The researcher outlined three components of the intervention program in the abstract for the project:

“(1) gatekeeper training with a focus on changing or enhancing the protective social norms and policy/practice at the establishment level; (2) FSW (female sex workers) training with a focus on the acquisition of communication skills (negotiating, limit setting) and behavioral skills (e.g., condom use skills, consistent condom use); and (3) semi-annual boosters to reinforce both social norms within establishments and individual skills,” wrote Li.

The doctor said the heart of the study involves “a community-based cluster randomized controlled trial among 100 commercial sex venues in Beihai, a costal tourist city in Guangxi.”