XVIII International AIDS Conference


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Criminalization of sex work as an obstacle for access to integral attention on HIV/AIDS

E. Molina1, H. Lainez2

1Red de Trabajadoras Sexuales de Latinoamerica y el Caribe, Quito, Ecuador, 2Red de Trabajadoras Sexuales de Latinoamerica y el Caribe, San Salvador, El Salvador

Issues: Criminalization of sex work generates violations to human rights on women who work on it. The criminalization sustained by stigma and discrimination deteriorate the options and works as an obstacle for treatment access and friendly assistance.
Description: In Latin America and the Caribbean region there are strong violations of human rights on female sex workers (FSWs). Our experience demonstrates that we were able to characterize four essential environments where vulnerability is stronger in relation to treatment access, health care assistance and friendly HIV diagnoses. These four areas include: judicial system, police system, health care system and social violence. In our 12 years of existence, “RedTraSex” have registered, analyzed and mediated in a number of situations in these four areas where human rights have been violated in our population. These situations favored the creation of skills such as denounce reporting, surveillance, visibility and sensibility. In our experience, a number of important changes have been observed in the countries where this net works.
Lessons learned: The FSWs jointly developed lines of work for both, individual and collective strength. We increased the FSWs participation on decisions, encouraged peer work, performed National and Regional Consults about sex work, human rights and HIV with the objective to promote publics policies that consider our necessities. Experience has demonstrated that in those countries where sex work was recognized and human rights are respected, HIV prevalence is lower.
Next steps: We plan to advance on collaborative work between governments and international agencies which contribute to integrate human rights in the answers to the HIV epidemic.

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