Government Officials, UN Staff Meet With Sex Workers in Asia to Examine Access to HIV Services
October 18, 2010
In parts of Asia, "policies outlawing sex work are undermining HIV/AIDS prevention efforts by fragmenting and stigmatizing the sex workers and turning condom possession into an act that could lead to jail time, NGO officials say," IRIN reports (10/15).
"In a first for the region, government officials from eight countries and staff from United Nations agencies this week joined sex workers in Pattaya near Bangkok to hear first-hand experiences and look at ways to review policies and laws that keep sex workers from accessing HIV services," according to Reuters AlertNet.
Sex work is one of the "main drivers" of HIV infection in the region -- nearly 20 percent of sex workers in some countries are HIV positive, the news service reports. Steve Krauss, regional director of UNAIDS, said "[h]ardly any country is devoting significant resources to programmes with sex work, for men who have sex with men and drug users," all groups at high risk of contracting HIV.View Full Article
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