ECDC report: STIs among Sex Workers

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The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) hosted its first ‘Expert Consultation Meeting STIs among Sex Workers’ meeting in October 2014 and has now released its public report of the meeting. NSWP was represented at the meeting.

The main aims of the expert consultation meeting, ECDC’s first meeting on this topic, were:

  • To agree upon the main areas where there is a clear need of public health action in the EU,
  • To discuss the best possible method for summarising the appropriate evidence based methods for policy makers to tackle these needs
  • To discuss and agree on the format of the output, the main audience and the main elements of a communication plan for such a product
  • To agree upon the next steps and future input given through this advisory group

The meeting began with a review of previous policy work in the area of sex work, including previous WHO guidelines and the SWIT tool recommendations. The group noted that the annexes of the latest UNAIDS Guidance Note on HIV and Sex Work clearly define “decriminalisation” and that work in this area should include all third parties and activities related to sex work. It was also proposed that the group begin from an assumption of agreement on decriminalisation in the light of evidence and previous work of WHO et al.

ECDC’s role is to provide guidance on disease transmission and control in order to prevent (new) infections. In addition, any ECDC activities in the field should take into account existing work and involve all stakeholders.

This meeting was a first step towards developing ECDC’s work in this area. As such, participants indicated their interest to remain involved in the process and help ECDC to “apply global solutions to local problems” including adapting global guidance to the national level. However, timing was highlighted as crucial, as if we wait too long countries will adopt repressive/non-evidence-based laws in the meantime.

You can download this 13 page pdf resource above. This resource is in English.