Sex workers constitute a key population affected by HIV, with multiple factors contributing to their vulnerability. Around the world, HIV programming falls short of taking these factors into account and actively working towards their reduction. Sex workers are put at risk of exposure to HIV by criminalisation; violence; unsafe working conditions; violations of their human rights; stigma, discrimination and social marginalisation; drug and alcohol use; unequal access to appropriate health services; minimal access to HIV prevention tools (such as safe sex supplies and safer injecting equipment); barriers to negotiation of safe sex with clients; offers of higher fees for unprotected sex; and an absence of HIV-related information targeted at sex workers, due to insufficient funding for rights-based and sex worker led programming. This Briefing Paper discusses these in detail.
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The present guide is a companion to a study and has been designed for program planners, policy, and decision makers, and civil society organisations that advocate for and work with FSWs and MSM in programs related to HIV and AIDS. It draws upon key findings from the original study and provides details on how to use data for decision making and evidence-based HIV programs, services, and policies, which address the needs of people living with HIV (PLHIV), men who have sex with men (MSM), and female sex workers (FSWs) in Côte d’Ivoire.
Since 2003, US government funding to address the HIV and AIDS pandemic has been subject to an anti-prostitution clause. This clause requires aid recipients to adopt an organizational policy opposing sex work and requires them to keep away from the “promotion of prostitution”. Simultaneously, the efficacy of some HIV prevention efforts for sex work in areas receiving US government funding has diminished. This article seeks to explain the unintended yet adverse effects of the implementation of the pledge through case stories.
You can download this 13 page resource as a PDF below.
This workshop, from sex worker-led organisation Respect Inc, in Queensland, Australia, is a very thorough introduction to a wide range of issues relevant to sex workers - particularly those working in Queensland, Australia, due to this resources' discussion of the legal situation there, but also for sex workers more generally in terms of issues like safer sex, negotiating boundaries, emotional well-being, and safety tips.
This is a summary of NSWP's Consensus Statement on Sex Work, Human Rights, and the Law. The Consensus Statement is issued on behalf of NSWP members and the sex workers they represent including sex workers of all genders, class, race, ethnicity, health status, age, nationality, citizenship, language, education levels, disabilities, and many other factors.
The Consensus Statement details eight fundamental rights that sex worker-led groups from around the world identify as crucial targets for their activism and advocacy. Following a global consultation with members, the NSWP Consensus Statement reaffirms NSWP ’s global advocacy platform for sex work, human rights and the law. A 12 page summary of the Consensus Statement is also available.
The Sex Worker Implementation Tool (SWIT) offers practical guidance on effective HIV and STI programming for sex workers.
APNSW's response to Equality now covers APNSW's support for the UN reports the recommend decriminalisation, and notes that Equality Now did not submit a response to the UN consultation.
The African Sex Worker Alliance statement in response to the attack on the UN recommendations regarding decriminalisation. ASWA state that they "stand firmly against the radical move by former sex workers and campaigners in the global north, to protest against the decriminalisation of sex workers ... [including] our partners, employees, and clients".
This study can be used as evidence of the need for governments and health programmes to take the needs and rights of sex workers living with HIV on board!
Although disproportionately affected by HIV, sex workers remain neglected by efforts to expand access to ART. In Zimbabwe, this qualitative research study was carried out to determine some of the reasons sex workers take up HIV referrals and ART initiation.
This press release accompanies the Asia Pacific Coalition on Male Sexual Health policy briefing on transgender rights and HIV in the region. The press release details the health crisis that faces transgender people in Asia Pacific, and calls for more and better quality research and data that is transgender specific, rather than treating transgender people as a subset of MSM. It recommends strategies to tackle the stigma and marginalisation that make transgender people so vulnerable to HIV and discrimination.
The Asia Pacific Coalition on Male Sexual Health policy briefing, 'Overlooked, Ignored, Forgotten' details the contributing factors to a health crisis amongst transgender people in Asia Pacific, while noting that the exact contours of this crisis are hard to discern, as transgender people have often been miscategorised (as men who have sex with men) or ignored.
The World Health Organization (WHO) released new guidelines for earlier treatment of HIV at the International Aids Society Conference 2013.
A fact sheet on the guidelines can be accessed here.
There is a growing interest in the evidence that antiretroviral therapy (ART) can be used to prevent or reduce transmission of HIV. The Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+) have recently released their position paper on the use of ART as prevention. The paper focuses on what this means for the general population of people living with HIV (at the individual level) and what it means for public health (at the population level).
The report to the UN by the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights in Namibia discusses the challenges faced by sex workers, writing "the criminalization of sex work in Namibia lies at the foundation of a climate of stigma, discrimination and violence surrounding sex work".
2nd June 2013
NSWP+ launched to fight for the rights of positive sex workers
June 2nd marked International Sex Workers’ Day. NSWP celebrated this important day by officially launching the NSWP+ platform through a new website: http://www.nswp.org/nswp-plus
Briefing paper produced by Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders) that outlines the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal being negotiated between the U.S. and ten other Pacific nations.
On April 22nd 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court will listen to evidence surrounding the case named USAID v AOSI (Alliance for Open Society International). The case relates to the constitutional status of the anti-prostitution pledge that must be signed by all USAID funding recipients. This pledge is a provision within the United States Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Act of 2003 (known as the Leadership Act), which forces sub-grantees to explicitly oppose prostitution in order to qualify for U.S. Government funding to fight HIV and AIDS. The results of this case will have dramatic consequences for NGOs, faith-based groups, civil society, and importantly for NSWP’s members, for sex workers globally.
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.
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.