In July 2010, sex workers and allies from nearly 40 countries, gathered at the 18th International AIDS Conference. "We carried red umbrellas everywhere we went, and demanded that funders, policy makers, researchers, and other organisations recognise and support the human rights of sex workers." This report gives an overview of the sex work-related activities during the conference.
The Global Network of Sex Work Projects raises the voices of sex workers of all genders on issues that affect us. What these voices say about HIV is: SEX WORK IS WORK: Only rights can stop the wrongs. Unfavourable laws, stigma, violence, and discrimination cause sex workers’ vulnerability to ill health, social exclusion and human rights violations. Sex workers face these to varying degrees in all cultures from Switzerland to Swaziland, Canada to Cambodia. In this pamphlet, we define an understanding of HIV and sex work and outline our global agenda for change. We hope you will join and support us.
This is the English version of the Note for Record of the November 2009 UNAIDS Advisory Group on HIV and Sex Work
This document details the events of the group meeting, including:
This list of discussion points was prepared for use during a meeting with Michel Sidibe, and include communication of general principles of collaboration as well as recommendations for the creation of an UNAIDS working group on HIV & sex work be created, that HIV prevention & care among sex workers be re-categorized away from the violence against women priority area, and that changes in how sex work is addressed be considered.
This letter was sent to Michel Sidibe to request a meeting to address concerns about the Guidance Note on HIV and Sex Work, as well as to build collaboration and address the need for a working group specifically for HIV and Sex Work.
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.
This Guidance Note has been developed to provide a unified approach by the UNAIDS Cosponsoring agencies to the reduction of HIV vulnerabilities in the context of sex work, where sex workers are defined as adults, 18 years and over. Its specific focus is the urgent need to provide access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support for all sex workers, and to provide life choices and occupational alternatives to sex work, including for sex workers living with HIV.