UNAIDS calls on Greece to protect sex workers

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Author: 
UNAIDS
Source (institute/publication): 
UNAIDS

In a statement released today the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) expressed its concern over recent actions by Greek authorities involving the arrest, detention, mandatory HIV testing, publication of photographs and personal details, and pressing of criminal charges against at least 12 sex workers.

The full statement on the UNAIDS website can be read here.

The press release also states:

'The initiation of criminal prosecution against sex workers living with HIV for intentional gross bodily harm raises concerns about the inappropriate application of criminal law, particularly in a context where clients have the social and economic power to insist upon condom use.  In addition, publication of names, photographs and positive HIV status drive sex workers into hiding and reduces their trust in health care services.'

The statement goes on to raise concerns about recent amendments to immigration legislation which it describes as 'overly broad and discriminatory.'

UNAIDS has urged the Greek authorities 'to adopt evidence-based programmes and an enabling legal environment that supports all people—including sex workers and their clients, people who use drugs, migrants and asylum-seekers—to access voluntary and confidential HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services.'