XVIII International AIDS Conference


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Human rights, sex work, HIS/AIDS in Peru: joining the academy and sex worker's organizations

G.A. Perez Luna, A. Rosasco, J. Villayzan, A. Villón

Instituto de Estudios en Salud, Sexualidad y Desarrollo Humano, Capacitación, Lima, Peru

Issues: Female and transgender sex workers are profoundly socially excluded communities in Peru. They are denied to basic human rights, have limited access to health services and are exposed to state violence and social suffering. These conditions contribute to increase their vulnerability to contracting HIV/AIDS. A consortium formed by three organizations: one from transgender people, one from female sex workers and one academic institution, collaborated in an intervention designed to reduce sex workers vulnerabilities improving the environment in which they carry out their work.
Description: In 4 Peruvian regions, this project implemented sensitization training for national and local police in order to reduce discrimination and violence toward these populations, improved the legal framework to decriminalize sexual work and focused on strengthening the participation and organization of sex workers.
Lessons learned: Sex workers have strengthened their leadership, which has enabled them to negotiate and advocate with government and civil society. Police were sensitized on sex work, human rights and HIV/AIDS. We developed a new law proposal drafted by the female and transgender sex workers, in order to protect their human rights and improve the context in which sex work is practiced. Academy and sex workers organizations developed an interesting collaborative work experience that allowed them to look for consensus toward achieving common goals.
Next steps: The law proposal needs more discussion and socialization among different groups of sex workers before being presented. We need to continue to work mainly with police officers and extend this experience to other regions of the country.

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