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This systematic review and meta-analysis, led by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), has found that sex workers who have experienced 'regressive policing' (including arrest, extortion and violence from police), are three times more likely to experience sexual or physical violence. The study examines the impacts of criminalisation on sex workers’ safety, health, and access to services, using data from 33 countries. Sex workers' health and safety was found to be at risk not only in countries where sex work was criminalised, but also in Canada, which has introduced the “Nordic model”, where purchasing sex is specifically criminalised.

 A “working paper” prepared as background to Building on the Evidence: An International Symposium on the Sex Industry in Canada

This paper is a result of a research programme in Canada’s sex industry: workers and their intimate partners, managers and clients.

This research is the first large scale quantitative research on sex workers in Fiji. It has enabled an understanding of the nature and extent of sex work in Fiji, rates of HIV and STI infection among sex workers and their knowledge and behaviour around safer sex practices. This research will compliment valuable insights gained from previous qualitative research. The findings from this research will assist in the appropriate targeting and provision of education, resources and health care services to a group previously defined by UNAIDS as a most-at-risk population.

Download this resource: PDF icon IBBS Sex Worker Final Report.pdf

A series of behavioural-biological surveys in 2008 and 2011 in four districts of Karnataka found that mobilising female sex workers is central to effective HIV prevention programming. Defining community mobilisation exposure as low, medium or high, the study revealed female sex workers with high exposure to community mobilisation are:

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 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.

Theme: Health

This reference text seeks to "clarify terms and illustrate examples of alternatives to the use of criminal law as a response to sex work". It provides capsule definitions - with small case-studies or examples - of what a variety of laws and policies look like in terms of their impact on sex work, covering criminalisation, legalisation, and decriminalisation, along with a mini-discussion of other laws that are used against sex workers, such as the criminalisation of HIV transmission, or immigration enforcement.

Download this resource: PDF icon sex-work-laws-policies-20120713[1].pdf

'Criminalising Condoms' details the experiences of sex workers and outreach services across six countries (Kenya, Namibia, Russia, Zimbabwe, South Africa and the United States). It finds that where any degree of criminalisation exists (whether of sex workers themselves, or of activities relating to sex work), condoms are used as evidence of sex work. This forces sex workers to choose between carrying safer sex supplies, thus attracting the deleterious attentions of the police, or working without condoms in the hope that the police will refrain from harassment - but also without the supplies that would protect them from HIV.

Download this resource: PDF icon criminalizing-condoms-20120717[1].pdf

The Law and Sexworker Health (LASH) team at the Kirby Institute, University of New South Wales were funded by the NSW Ministry of Health to better inform policy considerations, and the National Health and Medical Research Council to investigate if the various approaches across Australian jurisdictions were associated with different health and welfare outcomes for sex workers.

Download this resource: PDF icon NSWSexIndustryReportV4.pdf

This study was carried out to ascertain the cost effectiveness of targeted interventions for female sex workers under the National AIDS Control Programme in India.

Its conclusion was that at the current gross domestic product in India, targeted intervention is a cost-effective strategy for HIV prevention in India. 

Theme: Health

This summary, written under the aegis of the Center for Advocacy on Stigma and Marginalisation (CASAM), presents the preliminary results of the first pan-India survey on sex workers. These preliminary findings have been developed for an event in Mumbai on 30 April 2011. The authors appreciate the opportunity to discuss their research with an audience of critical stakeholders. A report which provides their final analysis and data relating to male, trans sex workers, sexuality, stigma and discrimination as well as the 0.5% of 15-17 year olds in this sample will be published later in the year. For the final report please contact info@sangram.org.

After premature closures in 2004 of biomedical human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevention trials involving sex workers in Africa and Asia, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and Global Advocacy for HIV Prevention (AVAC) undertook consultations to establish better participatory guidelines for such trials in order to address ethical concerns. This study investigated sex workers’ knowledge and beliefs about research ethics and good participatory practices (GPP) and the perspectives of sex workers on research participation. A 33-question survey based on criteria identified by UNAIDS and AVAC was translated into three other languages.

Download this resource: PDF icon Ditmore-Allman Who is Helsinki.pdf

The Government is committed to enhancing the contribution of research to health and social care, and to the partnership between services and science. Research is essential to the successful promotion and protection of health and well-being and to modern and effective health and social care services. At the same time, research can involve an element of risk, both in terms of return on investment and sometimes for the safety and well-being of the research participants. Proper governance of research is therefore essential to ensure that the public can have confidence in, and benefit from, quality research in health and social care. The public has a right to expect high scientific, ethical and financial standards, transparent decision-making processes, clear allocation of responsibilities and robust monitoring arrangements.

Download this resource: PDF icon UKDH-RESEARCH.pdf

In response to the traditional emphasis on the rights, interests, and well-being of individual research subjects, there has been growing attention focused on the importance of involving communities in research development and approval.

Download this resource: PDF icon DICKERT-ETHICALGOALS.pdf

An amendment to H.R. 1298, the United States Leadership Against HIV/AIDs, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act, seeks to deny U.S. funding to organisations that do not have a policy explicitly opposing prostitution. The amendment, which was offered by representative Chris Smith of New Jersey and passed 24 to 22, reads:

Download this resource: PDF icon CHGE-HR1298.pdf
Theme: Health

Sex workers are frequently omitted from discussions about the links between criminalisation, marginalisation, and increased HIV transmission. At the IAS 2010 conference in Vienna, substantial attention was focused on the negative impacts that criminalisation has on men who have sex with men, injection drug users, and people living with HIV—but very little on its effects on sex workers. Few outside of the Global Village explicitly called for decriminalisation of sex work or mentioned that laws criminalizing HIV transmission and exposure exacerbate the damage already being done to sex workers' health and rights. This article explores this omission, how other hard-hit constituencies have struggled for their place on the HIV/AIDS advocacy agenda, and why the HIV/AIDS field should be actively collaborating with sex workers' rights organisations, particularly on anti-criminalisation work.

Download this resource: PDF icon ForbesBETASexWorkers.pdf

This study reviewed the condom utilization rates among female sex workers in Thailand, and determined that the rates of use fall far below the 100% Condom Usage rates advocated by the Thailand Ministry of Public Health.

Download this resource: PDF icon 18-23-buckingham.pdf

An analysis on indoor sex work settings in seven European cities and a manual on examples of good practices in the work with sex workers. The manual has two objectives: To provide an analysis on local level of the indoor prostitution scene, and to present examples of good practice for service providers regarding the implementation of new outreach methodologies in order to encourage a broader development of comprehensive indoor outreach services.

Download this resource: PDF icon indoor_manual.pdf

This paper is the product of discussions of the Thematic Task Team on Creating an Enabling Legal and Policy Environment in preparation for the 1st Asia and the Pacific Regional Consultation on HIV and Sex Work, 12 – 15 October 2010 in Pattaya, Thailand.

This report details the changes in HIV infection rates in Thailand from the 1980's (prior to the implementation of the 100% Condom Use Programme) to the current day, and examines both the improvements that have been made and the areas still unresolved with regard to sex worker health and safety.

Download this resource: PDF icon sex_work_hiv_thailand.pdf