A noisy, colourful protest today at the International AIDS Conference by sex worker activists highlighting the impacts of US government policies and those of the President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief on sex workers in Africa.
From Research for Sex Work, Issue 10 (July 2008):
US funding restrictions applied to anti-trafficking and HIV- prevention monies have cowed many service providers and implementing agencies. Furthermore, the requirement that one-third of US HIV-prevention funding be spent on abstinence programming has directed funding toward faith- based organisations (FBOs), most of which have little if any experience with HIV-prevention, and away from evidence- based, proven-effective HIV-prevention. Sex workers are hard hit by these restrictions, and the effects hurt not just sex workers but everyone in their communities. Sex workers had mixed feelings about the reauthorization of PEPFAR because of these restrictions. While PEPFAR offers life-saving medicines to many who would not otherwise receive it, the PEPFAR reauthorization bill included, at time of going to press, restrictions that prevent sex workers from receiving services. These restrictions promote discrimination against sex workers.
I love the way these guys stand up for themselves.
For more information about the organisers of this action and the issues behind it, visit the Global Network of Sex Work Projects.