Resources

Empower Foundation is a Thai organisation since 1985. Empower promotes opportunities for women workers in the entertainment industry. Empower strives to promote these opportunities and rights to all women workers regardless of their country of origin.

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UNAIDS called a meeting at the Barcelona Aids Conference in July 2002 of program planners, researchers, field workers and activists to begin discussing its work on HIV care and prevention among sex workers and clients. For the NSWP this was an important opportunity to ensure that UNAIDS is aware of the NSWP's concerns about programs that sex workers see as ineffective and/or as contributing to the abuse of sex workers. The meeting was preceded by NSWP demonstrations that drew attention to the negative impact on sex workers' human rights of anti-trafficking and public health measures such as mandatory registration and examination of sex workers that are increasingly being promoted as effective approaches to HIV prevention.

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100% Condom Use Policy (CUP) programmes that aim to reduce HIV among female sex workers are being implemented or planned in several countries in Asia, Latin America and Africa. As a result of claims made about the role of 100% CUP in reducing national HIV epidemics, UNAIDS and other key agencies promote the programmes as a "best practice". The NSWP has a different view of the theory and practice of 100% CUP. Our view is based on ethical analysis and on real evidence from the field.

The Conference was held in La Habana, Cuba, from April 7 - 12, 2003. The first Latin-American conference happened in Rio de Janeiro on 2000. Cuba was chosen because of the low incidence of HIV (lowest in Latin America). Around 39 countries and more than 2000 participants attended the conference. Like always, there was a very low participation of sex workers.

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Theme: Health

Stigma still the major barrier for an effective HIV/AIDS response

By Shyamala Ashok, India

After a great trauma and toil in loosing one of our committed peer educators for sex workers and most of all a young friend of ours with the HIV status, a member of the women's positive network in Pondicherry, I have tried to illustrate the case for an analysis as below.

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BACKGROUND
Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Recent changes to HIV funding in the US (HR 1298)

The US Senate approved a new international HIV/AIDS funding bill for approximately $15 billion on Thursday May 15, 2003 (Senate Resolution HR 1298, United States Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act of 2003). The Senate Bill is almost identical to its predecessor in the US House of Representatives and passed through the Senate unusually quickly, preventing debate about the content of the initiative that will triple HIV funding from the US to projects worldwide.

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On May 21, the US House gave the final congressional approval to a bill that provides funding for a five-year US$15bn plan to fight HIV/Aids around the world. The bill now proceeds to President Bush for his signature. It is expected that he will urge other states at the G8 meeting early next month to follow the US lead in committing significant funds to fighting HIV/AIDS.

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WHO REPORT

Expert workgroup meeting for the development of a toolkit for HIV/AIDS prevention and care interventions in sex work settings

Geneva, December 8-9, 2003

Background

Since the first half of 2003, Mrs. Manoela Moeller, from the Prevention Unit of WHO, has been contacting NSWP, asking for publications and other materials from sex workers´ organizations throughout the world. In October she contacted the co-coordinator, checking availability to a meeting in December. She also asked to nominate "a sex worker from Asia" (they still do it! When will they recognize that we are organized all over the world?!!). I told about the APNSW and nominated Tini, who is also the chair of the board of NSWP; WHO accepted the nomination. The meeting , named "expert workgroup meeting" was organized for 8 and 9 Dec. at WHO headquarters, in Geneva. Before that, a small meeting happened at the Alliance Headquarters in Brighton, where several inputs from Cheryl Overs and Alliance staff were considered.

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Theme: Health

From:Melissa Hope

Date:September 13, 2005 11:48:42 AM EDT
To:bmcserieseditor@biomedcentral.com, editorial@biomedcentral.com, info@biomedcentral.com
Cc:Lori Heise , brachlis@ccnm.edu, Kumanan.Wilson@uhn.on.ca, sosingh@jhsph.edu, pwu@ccnm.edu, elainem.wong@gmail.com, emills@ccnm.edu
Subject:Letter in response to Mills et al's "Media reporting of tenofovir trials in Cambodia and Cameroon"

To the editor:

Mills et al("Media reporting of tenofovir trials in Cambodia and Cameroon" BMC International Health and Human Rights 2005, 5:6, 24 August 24, 2005) claim in their first sentence that PREP trials were "closed due to activist pressure on host country governments". Activists worked to improve trial conditions, which would have been a real victory. The reason these trials were closed was that researchers did not meet with or meet the needs of participants. This lack of engagement with participants is why participants became activists and reached out to their international support networks and the media.

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APNSW statement at 7th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific, Kobe, Japan

July 5, 2005

Please forward widely

This morning at the closing ceremony of the Seventh International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific Maria-san and Andrew of the Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers (APNSW) talked about sex workers' experience of the conference. The opportunity for sex workers from twenty countries throughout the region to come together again. We had a lot to celebrate. The APNSW and the Japanese sex workers movement were both founded here in Japan in Yokohama in 1994. Now as then our Japanese sex worker colleagues were wonderful hosts organizing cultural events that ensured that male, female and transgender sex workers were the stars of the day.

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Theme: Health

This report focuses on indoor sex work primarily because, while these sex workers are largely invisible, they face many of the same problems as the more visible street-based prostitutes. The stereotypes of indoor sex workers encompass only extremes of either wealth and glamour or coercion and violence. The true picture reveals a more nuanced reality—the majority of indoor sex workers in this study live surprisingly precarious lives, and encounter a high level of exactly the same problems faced by street-based sex workers, including violence, constant fear of police interference, and a lack of substantive support services. Finding concrete and reality-based solutions to the needs of this invisible, vulnerable, and marginalised community is imperative to helping them create safe and stable lives.

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In response to the traditional emphasis on the rights, interests, and well-being of individual research subjects, there has been growing attention focused on the importance of involving communities in research development and approval.

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An amendment to H.R. 1298, the United States Leadership Against HIV/AIDs, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act, seeks to deny U.S. funding to organisations that do not have a policy explicitly opposing prostitution. The amendment, which was offered by representative Chris Smith of New Jersey and passed 24 to 22, reads:

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Theme: Health

This booklet explains how Canada’s criminal laws related to prostitution affect the health and the human rights of sex workers. It recommends changes to those laws to improve the lives of sex workers. This booklet is based on the report Sex, work, rights: reforming Canadian criminal laws on prostitution (click for more information and to download the 124 page report), published in 2005 by the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network.

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This study reviewed the condom utilization rates among female sex workers in Thailand, and determined that the rates of use fall far below the 100% Condom Usage rates advocated by the Thailand Ministry of Public Health.

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This report examines the impact of law enforcement approaches to street-based sex work in New York City and proposes a series of policy and practice recommendations for reform based on the researchers’ analyses of the data collected. This report also seeks to promote reasoned, fact-based, and informed debate regarding street-based prostitution in New York City. Public discussion of this issue usually occurs in flashy headlines that are meant to titillate rather than to explore the consequences of policy decisions in depth. This is a special effort to give voice to the problems faced by street-based sex workers, using their own words, since this is a voice that is almost always left out of policy debates.

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This paper addresses the persistence of violence against female commercial sex workers in the United States, drawing on the experiences of the Best Practices Policy Project in conducting outreach, research, and relationship building with diverse commercial sex worker stakeholders.

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This report summarises the AIDS challenge in Asian and Pacific countries. Using the best available evidence, it discusses the reasons why critical services currently reach only a fraction of those in need. It also outlines the action needed that will allow the region to seize this key moment of opportunity.

Finally, the report makes recommendations for urgent implementation of strategies known to work, by global, regional and national political leaders, by international donors, the UN system, civil society and other key stakeholders in Asia and the Pacific.

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Theme: Health

This document describes the ethical and scientific requirements for their grantees and other studies requesting acknowledgement and funding that require the use of studies involving human beings. The document goes into detail in the following areas: Context of an ethics framework; Ethics Review; Free and informed consent; Privacy and confidentiality, Conflict of interest; Inclusion in research; Research involving Aboriginal peoples, Clinical Trials; Human Genetic Research; Research involving human gametes, embryos, or foetuses; and Human tissue research.

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Theme: Health

The objective of this article is to describe the use of lemon/lime juice for douching by female sex workers and family planning clients in Jos, Nigeria. Over half the women believed that it protected them from pregnancy and/or sexually transmitted infections; they did not know their HIV status. Eighty-six percent would recommend it to others, and 71% would be willing to take part in a study to evaluate its safety and efficacy. Conclusion: Lemon and lime juice are widely used for douches among women at high risk of HIV transmission.

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Theme: Health