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UN Member States convened to undertake a comprehensive review of the progress achieved in realising the targets set out in the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS at the 2006 UNGASS Review Meeting.

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Intervention by Martine Ago, Ivory Coast:
The United Nations General Assembly
High-Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS


United Nations Headquarters
New York, USA, June 1, 2006

Your Excellency, the president of the United Nations General Assembly; Your Excellence, the Secretary General of the United Nations; and honored invitees, ladies and gentlemen:

I am Martine Ago, representative of sex professionals, from the Ivory Coast, a country that knows firsthand a military-political crisis with its crushing poverty, violence and degradation of the health system.

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Theme: Health

This report is the beginning of an important social dialogue about the role that the law will play in governing the sex industry in Canada. Pivot has argued that criminal law reform is the first step towards a shift from the status quo, where sex workers are subject to extreme levels of violence and social marginalisation, to a society where sex workers are empowered to create safe and dignified working conditions. Criminal law reform will be most effectively carried out if all levels of government consider the findings of this research and contemplate how areas of law that fall within their jurisdiction will play a role in creating a safe and legitimate sex industry.

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This report focuses on rape and violence perpetrated against sex workers in Phnom Penh, despite a drop in HIV rates among Cambodian citizens through it's 100% Condom Programme and other regulatory approaches that do not extend to rights and safety for sex workers.

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Women in many cultures have used lemon or lime juice for contraception and vaginal hygiene for centuries; however, despite rumours that say otherwise, these juices are not only ineffective as a microbicide to prevent transmission of HIV, but can actually cause HIV transmission more easily because of the damage that they do to vaginal tissues.

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Theme: Health