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The Curious Sex Workers Guide to attending the 18th International AIDS Conference

The 18th International AIDS Conference, will take place in Vienna, Austria, from the 18th to the 23rd of July 2010. The International Network of Sex Work Projects has been working hard to ensure that sex workers are a strong presence at the conference as always. Sex workers will have a Networking Zone and several exhibition booths, some dedicated sessions, speakers, a pre-meeting, a rally and, as always, a party.

CREA research on violence against women in India, Bangladesh and Nepal

A research study on violence against lesbian women, female sex workers, and disabled women in three countries in South Asia—Bangladesh, India, and Nepal. The study investigated the hypothesis that women who are outside the mainstream of the South Asian society suffer high rates of violence and are often unable to seek and receive protection from State agencies.

Advancing sexual health and human rights in the Western Pacific

Widespread criminalization of sex work has had the effect of undermining the sexual health of sex workers, for instance by preventing them from accessing health care services for fear of criminal prosecution if found to be a sex worker. Moreover, laws permitting mandatory HIV or STI testing of sex workers and mandating disclosure of private health information to employers sanction direct interference in the private lives of sex workers.

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HIV/AIDS, gender and sex work

This short fact sheet outlines the key issues and HIV risks associated with sex work in many parts of the world including: high rates of STIs and HIV; poverty; low educational level; limited access to healthcare services and prevention commodities; gender inequalities; social stigma and low social status; drug or substance use and; a lack of protective legislation and policies. It suggests that the following types of HIV programmes have been successful in meeting sex workers’ needs:

UNAIDS Guidance Note on Sex Work

This Guidance Note provides clarification and direction regarding approaches by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS to reduce HIV risk and vulnerability in the context of sex work.

Working from a rights-based approach to health service delivery to sex workers

This article, in Exchange on HIV/AIDS, Sexuality and Gender, focuses on the relationship between HIV and sex workers’ rights. It outlines the elements of a rights-based approach to sex work and includes information on how the criminalisation of sex work and stigma and discrimination increase vulnerability. It suggests that the key elements of a rights based approach are that it:

IPPF HIV Update 2008

This short update from IPPF contains an article by Melissa Ditmore, the former coordinator of the International Network of Sex Work Projects. She outlines some key principles of HIV programming with sex workers. These include that interventions should be:

Criminalization of sex work(ers): The human rights case for law reform

This case study from 2005 by the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network explores sex work related laws and argues for reform of provisions related to sex work in the Criminal Code which undermine sex workers’ ability to realise their human rights.

Sex Work: 14 answers to your questions

This booklet is intended for social services and health professionals, police officers and community workers, as well as people from the media, the justice system or the government in Canada. Its purpose is to shed light on some preconceived ideas about sex work.

Sex work and HIV: China

This short UNAIDS factsheet explores HIV in relation to sex work in China. It provides information on:

  • The profile of the sex industry in China
  • Migration and displacement
  • The clients of sex workers
  • Sex work and the law
  • Stigma and discrimination
  • Violence
  • Drug use
  • HIV programming
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