XVIII International AIDS Conference


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"Human Rights and Female Prostitution" - a community-based research in Brazil about violations of the rights of sex workers

F. Strack, O. Silva Leite

Davida - Prostituição, Direitos Civis, Saúde, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Background: The First National Consultation on STD/AIDS, Human Rights and Prostitution took place in Brasília in February 2008 as the Brazilian follow-up to the recommendations resulting from the Latin-American Consultation on Sex Work and HIV/AIDS in Lima, Peru 2007. The Consultation aimed at building regional guidelines to fight the HIV/AIDS with a focus on the rights of prostitutes in Latin America and the Caribbean. Among the questions discussed at the Consultation features the recommendation of a nationwide research project on prostitution and human rights.
Methods: Davida´s research area (community-based sex worker organisation in Brasil) elaborated the investigation “Human Rights and Female Prostitution” and carried out the pilot in Rio de Janeiro with support of the UNFPA. The research team, choosen by Davida, collaborated with prostitutes who acted as political mediators between the interviewees and the researchers, advising about the selection of the interviewees and creating a trustful atmosphere for the interviews. A series of in-depth and open interviews guided to others questions mentioned by the prostitutes to cover diverse aspects on the vulnerability of human rights of prostitutes.
Results: Violations as refusal of clients to use condoms, limited right of freedom of movemnet, revealing of the prostitutes's serology, confined areas, police abuse, discrimination at health services are only some itens mentioned by the prostitutes. Involvement in reseaches of sex workers reached more authentic results and improved the self-confidence to denounce cases of physical, psychic and structural violence. Positive experiences with scientific teams provides incentive to start community-based researches about access to health service and adequate HIV prevention strategies.
Conclusions: Continuation of the research in urban and rural regions of Brasil and other Latin-American countries with the meaningful participation of sex workers to meliorate the advocacy about decriminalization of sex work for better access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.

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