The National Strategic Plan for HIV Prevention, Care and Treatment for Sex Workers was presented at the International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA) on the 10th of December. The Plan is a comprehensive rights- and evidence-based approach to HIV interventions within the sex worker key population.
“Following World Health Organisation guidelines on HIV prevention amongst sex workers, the Plan does advocate for the decriminalisation of sex work”, said Maria Stacey, the Sex Worker Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT) Deputy Director.
The Plan is meant to provide a framework to all service providers to create an environment that will enable and empower sex workers to reduce their own risk of HIV and STI transmission, to seek and get appropriate early diagnosis and treatment of HIV/STIs, and to address structural issues related to HIV and sex work. Further, this strategy will create a benchmark against which the services provided to sex workers will be monitored and evaluated to inform continuous improvement to access, uptake and effective utilisation of HIV prevention activities.
The Plan was presented by the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) Secretariat, Nditsheni Mungoni. Speakers included Steve Letsike (SANAC), Coceka Noguduka (SANAC), Mark Dybul (Global Fund), and National Coordinator of Sisonke, Kholi Buthelezi.
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