Presentation on theme: "TUESDAY :: NOON :: Steps off from In front (South) of the Convention Center & at archives metro www.WeCanEndAIDS.org."— Presentation transcript:
TUESDAY :: NOON :: Steps off from In front (South) of the Convention Center & at archives metro www.WeCanEndAIDS.org
The Impact of PEPFAR on Sex Workers Submission to the Global Commission on HIV and the Law Melissa Ditmore, Urban Justice Center Sex Workers Project Mhdemail@example.com Dan Allman, HIV Social, Behavioural and Epidemiological Studies Unit and CIHR Social Research Centre in HIV Prevention, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto
PEPFAR and the anti-prostitution policy PEPFAR is foreign assistance from the US government for HIV and AIDS programming. PEPFAR operates in over 150 countries. PEPFAR has facilitated the provision of ARV treatment to thousands of individuals and expanded services for many, including sex workers. However, this funding is conditional.
The conditions Recipients of PEPFAR funds are required to sign contracts that include a clause specifying that the recipient is ‘opposed to prostitution and sex trafficking because of the psychological and physical risks they pose for women, men and children.’ Known as the anti-prostitution pledge or oath.
These real life examples illustrate the adverse effects of the pledge: Some projects for sex workers have closed. Sex workers have been excluded from services and denied information about HIV and its transmission in Asia. Organizations in Africa that propose to ‘rehabilitate’ sex workers further stigmatize sex workers who supplement their incomes after rehabilitation with sex work. This stigmatization encourages people to hide their involvement in sex work, typically by not carrying safe sex commodities such as condoms. This severely inhibits their ability to practice safe sex in their sexual transactions. Sex worker organizations have been dropped from NGO networks in which they had previously participated in response to the pledge. Faith-based organizations with PEPFAR funding have sponsored condom burnings in Uganda, decreasing access to safe sex commodities while promoting stigma against sex workers and others. Sex workers have reported higher levels of stigmatization in research settings after the implementation of the pledge.
Next steps The elimination of this funding condition would be a forward step. Short of eliminating the pledge, clarification about what is permitted is necessary, because Inconsistent interpretation has exacerbated the problems created by the pledge.