This year, we commemorate World AIDS Day in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, a global health crisis that has caused immense human misery and economic insecurity. Despite the devastation caused by the ongoing pandemic, we call on global policymakers and donors to not lose sight of their goal to end the HIV epidemic, which is now entering its fifth decade. The epidemic continues to disproportionately devastate our communities.
Sex workers living with HIV
This resource is a Community Guide to the Briefing Paper: Sex Workers’ Experiences of Stock-outs of HIV/STI Commodities and Treatments. It provides an overview of the full Briefing Paper, and provides key recommendations for policy makers and health service providers.
Globally, sex workers are disproportionately affected by HIV, with prevalence estimated to be up to 34 times higher among sex workers than the general population. Access to commodities for HIV prevention, detection and access to treatment is critical to the health and wellbeing of sex workers around the world. Interventions recommended in World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for key populations, including sex workers, include comprehensive condom and lubricant programming; HIV testing and counselling; HIV treatment and care; and sexual and reproductive health interventions.
Globally sex workers experience a number of barriers to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services, ranging from explicit exclusion from international financing to discrimination within SRH services leading to lower access rates.
This paper discusses the obstacles sex workers face when accessing SRH services, and examines the quality of services available to them. It also provides practical examples and recommendations for improving the accessibility and acceptability of SRH services for sex workers.
Key affected communities in India have expressed disappointment following the introduction of the “HIV/AIDS (Prevention and Control) Bill,” which passed through the Rajya Sabha on 21 March. Community members have spoken out saying it allows governments to escape their obligation to provide complete treatment to people living with HIV. Article 21 [Right to Life] of the Indian Constitution was previously used to hold the government accountable and advocate for rights to life saving treatment. However, a clause in the new law means that government can argue that their commitment is to provide treatment ‘as far as possible.’
NSWP, the African Sex Workers Alliance, Sisonke, and SWEAT are proud to invite sex workers to the sex worker networking zone at the International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa. For a full schedule, please see below or download the schedule as a PDF.
The National Empowerment Network for Persons Living with HIV and AIDS in Kenya (NEPHAK), the Kenya Sex Workers Alliance (KESWA), the Bar Hostess Empowerment and Support Programme (BHESP) and the Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+) have published their report Speaking Out: Personal Testimonies of Rights Violations Experienced by Sex Workers in Kenya. This report focuses on human rights violations among female sex workers living with HIV. It is based on a literature review and interviews conducted in May 2014 among 30 sex workers living with HIV in six counties: Nairobi, Mombasa, Kiambu, Machakos, Kisumu, and Busia.
First Do No Harm: Discrimination in Health Care Settings against People Living with HIV in Cambodia, China, Myanmar, and Viet Nam
Asia Catalyst has published their report First Do No Harm: Discrimination in Health Care Settings against People Living with HIV in Cambodia, China, Myanmar, and Viet Nam. This research is based on 202 interviews conducted by 8 community organisations including NSWP member Aye Myanmar Association (AMA). It documents the discriminatory practices faced by people living with HIV in health care settings, and also provides examples of what rights-based health care looks like.
Kenyan sex workers continue to suffer human rights violations. Sex workers also bear a disproportionately large burden of HIV. This could be significantly reduced by a rights-based approach to their health needs. This research by GNP+ focuses on the human rights violations that female sex workers living with HIV face when they access healthcare services. It also highlights violations by law enforcement officers that impact on sex workers’ vulnerability to and ability to manage HIV.