Stigma and Discrimination Experienced by Sex Workers Living with HIV


This briefing paper looks at the different types of stigma and discrimination experienced by sex workers living with HIV globally. Sex workers living with HIV are at increased risk of violence, criminalisation and vulnerability to other infections. This briefing paper provides recommendations for policies and practices which respect their  human rights. It uses case studies that highlight the experiences of sex workers living with HIV and the efforts required to meet their needs, and advocate for their rights. A Community Guide is also available.

Contents include:

  • Introduction
  • Whorephobia and HIV Stigma
  • Criminalisation of Sex Work and People Living with HIV
  • Regulation of Sex Work and HIV
  • Discrimination by Police and Law Enforcement
  • Lack of Protection and Access to Justice
  • Discrimination in Incarceration
  • Discrimination in Health Care
    • Mandatory or Coercive Treatment
    • Sexual and Reproductive Health Care
    • Research and Ethics
  • Social Exclusion
  • Housing
  • Economic Discrimination
  • Migration
  • Conclusions and Good Practices

You can download this 16-page PDF above. This resource is available in English, French, Spanish, Russian and Chinese.

This project was supported by the Bridging the Gaps programme and the Robert Carr civil society Networks Fund.