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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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Date: June 25

UNAIDS PCB met in Geneva on June 25, 2007 and the APNSW spearheaded efforts with NGOs to demonstrate the ways that the proposed UNAIDS Guidance on Sex Work violated UN human rights documents.

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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 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

First Nations need to protect all information concerning themselves, their traditional knowledge and culture, including information resulting from research. The principles of Ownership, Control, Access and Possession (OCAP) enable self-determination over all research concerning First Nations. It offers a way for First Nations to make decisions regarding what research will be done, for what purpose information or data will be used, where the information will be physically stored and who will have access.

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This letter was sent to Peter Piot to raise concerns about the language and focus of the 2007 UNAIDS Guidance Note: HIV and Sex Work. In particular, it raises concerns about the emphasis on reducing commercial sex rather than HIV, and:

This Guidance Note addresses the urgent need to provide and increase access to HIV programming for sex workers of all genders, HIV positive or negative. The Millennium Development Goals such as girls education, gender equality and poverty reduction, form the background contextual setting for this document. This Guidance Note will assist UN agencies and UNAIDS country programmes to develop sex work and HIV policy and services that are in line with governments commitments to improve their response to HIV/ AIDS, and with the ultimate objective of moving towards Universal Access to comprehensive prevention, treatment, care and support by 2010.