XVIII International AIDS Conference


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The effective prevention of HIV is compromised in absence of protection laws, civic and human rights for the vulnerable groups in France

C. Cabral1,2

1PASTT (Prévention, Action, Santé, Travail pour les Transgenres), Direction, Paris, France, 2Prossex Union, Paris, France

Issues: The surveys conducted by PASTT in 2009 over 1200 Parisian sex workers (female and transgender) reveal the gross HIV prevalence at 20%.However the worst hit is the migrant trans community where the infection rate is at a staggering 45%.Their state of repression has worsened considerably after the introduction of a new law in 2003 which broadly criminalizes sex work.(recolage passif).
Description: About 1200 sex workers are provided with Prevention Kits (condoms, lubricants and medications) and counseled for prevention against HIV and STD infections. The insurance files of 300 sex workers are processed annually and thus entitling them to benefits of the French Social and Health-Care System. Over the last two years about 35 imprisoned sex workers have been provided with economic and juristic assistance and were later suitably rehabilitated. Across 5 apartments in Paris critically ill HIV infected individuals are housed and provided with care-giving. PASTT strongly denounces human trafficking and actively works to protect the sex workers from the exploitation of pimps and mafia.
Lessons learned: French laws penalize sex work with 2 months of imprisonment or a fine of 3750 Euros. To evade arrests and prison terms the sex workers are becoming more and more inaccessible each passing day. After facing repeated rights violation and hate crimes many of these individuals have lost urge to contribute anything constructive towards preventing HIV risk. This year French Government has cut funds and it means that Housing Project for HIV individuals is at stake.
Next steps: PASTT has definitive plans to extend the ongoing projects across Asia and Latin American nations. We believe that effective HIV prevention is closely linked with human rights issues and will involve in dialogues with the concerned governments to implement viable models for HIV prevention and Harm Reduction among the sex workers and high risk groups.

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