Resources

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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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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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 report provides an overview of important issues that sex workers face in the region as well as to the political, economic, and social factors that influence policies and attitudes toward sex workers. It focuses primarily on existing laws and policies and their consequences from the perspective of HIV prevention and treatment. The report also offers recommendations designed to uphold sex workers’ human rights and remove barriers that reduce their ability or willingness to obtain access to consistent and equitable health care and other social services.

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