A new Dutch publication has been released that addresses the human rights violations and challenges faced by sex workers, people who use drugs, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, in accessing much-needed HIV and health services.
The conference theme “Now More Than Ever: Targeting Zero” is derived from the UNAIDS’ vision of striving for “Zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS-related deaths”, but it also highlights the need to “now more than ever” maintain the commitment to ensure access to treatment for everyone in Africa irrespective of their ability to pay for such treatment.
US Supreme Court strikes down Anti-Prostitution pledge
Vindication for VAMP / SANGRAM
22 July 2013 Sangli, Maharashtra
In a victory for sex worker rights across the world, the United States Supreme Court on 20th June 2013, struck down as unconstitutional the legal requirement that organisations receiving US assistance for HIV programs must have an explicit policy opposing `prostitution’. Popularly known as the anti-prostitution pledge, the provision effectively denied financial support to sex work programming in HIV despite widespread scientific and UN consensus that such programming is essential for a successful HIV response.
ACTION ALERT! - deadline extended
A new report released on June 4th, 2013 by a coalition of global advocacy organisations shows that the International AIDS Conference (IAC) program continues to lack meaningful coverage of HIV-related issues concerning men who have sex with men (MSM), transgender people, people who inject drugs (PWID), and sex workers.
As reported in the Indian Express, around 250 sex workers were amongst those who took part in a silent rally on Friday 10th February in Mysore in opposition to a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the European Union aoround the supply of generic life-saving drugs.
Harassment by police and humiliation at clinics mean just 5 percent of sex workers in South Africa are getting access to health care.
Research by the Sex Worker Education Advocacy Taskforce (Sweat), says up to 60 percent of sex workers nationwide were HIV-positive.
Micky Meji, national co-ordinator of the Africa Sex Worker Alliance, added that the infection rate was higher due to harassment by police, who often confiscated condoms from sex workers.
You can read the full story as reported in the South African Daily News here.
The Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee is a collective of 65000 female, male and transgender sex workers in West Bengal, India. Their most recent Bulletin (No 8.) includes details of new reproductive health services now offered by DMSC and information about health insurance cards given to sex workers in Sonagachi.
You can download this 6 page pdf Bulletin below (in English).
Photos from the ICAAP demonstrations show courageous Laxmi Narayan Tripathi and others attempting to stop a police car taking away a lawyer who had been arrested.
Taking the example of Korean sex workers, community protesters got up on stage today in the plenary with facemasks symbolising the silencing of the voices of the communities, and read a list of demands to the organisers and UNAIDS.