The World Health Organization (WHO) is developing guidelines for evidence-based interventions
for the prevention and treatment of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in low- and
The Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) oversaw a civil society consultation of sex workers commissioned by the WHO to gather feedback on the proposed guidelines and produced this report, entitled:
'Female, Male and Transgender Sex Workers' Perspectives on HIV & STI Prevention and Treatment Services: a global sex worker consultation.'
This report summarises the findings from that consultation as follows:
- Sex workers identified the following barriers to accessing HIV and STI related services: criminalisation, penalisation and repression of sex work, same-sex activity and gender expression; mandatory testing; discrimination and mistreatment within the health sector; exclusion of male and transgender sex workers; inappropriate and inadequate services; and funds diverted to programmes that have no evidence-base.
- Sex workers identified the following necessary steps to improve access to HIV and STI prevention and treatment: decriminalisation, depenalisation and non-repressive policy; HIV interventions in line with human rights standards; collective empowerment; recognition of sex work as work; comprehensive programmes; and sex worker-led strategies.
- Sex workers unanimously supported: condom promotion for sex workers; periodic voluntary
screening for STIs; voluntary counselling and testing; and ARV treatment according to guidelines that apply to the general adult population.
- Sex worker strongly supported: condom promotion for clients.
- Sex workers strongly rejected: mandatory testing, periodic presumptive treatment for STIs (PPT) and provider-Initiated testing.
This report will inform the NSWP representatives' advocacy in the forthcoming WHO Global Consultation on the 'Development of Guidance for the Prevention and Treatment of HIV and other Sexually Transmitted Infections for Sex Workers and their Clients' which will take place in Montreux, Switzerland on 2-4 February 2012. The objectives of the meeting are to:
- Review the evidence summaries and evaluations of the risk-benefit analyses, the feasibility, costs and acceptability of the proposed recommendations;
- Review the evidence-based and good practice draft recommendations;
- Develop consensus on and rank the strength of the final recommendations;
- Identify implementation steps and tools required; and
- Make recommendations for future research.
You can read or download this 21 page PDF report (in English) below.