Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Laws Driving HIV Prevention Underground

from iRIN News

In a region where carrying a condom has been construed as evidence of illicit activity, 10 million women sell sex to 75 million men, who then have sex with another 50 million people, according to the multinational Independent Commission on AIDS in Asia. 

"The technology is there to prevent infections, but punitive laws get in the way," said Steve Kraus, regional director of UNAIDS Asia Pacific. 

Asia's AIDS epidemic is linked primarily to unprotected paid sex, according to the commission, but 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. 

Until recently, Cambodia was praised by the international community for its implementation of the 100 percent Condom Use Programme, which allowed for selective enforcement of anti-sex work laws and required condom availability and use for sex workers. But a national anti-trafficking law introduced in 2008 broadly criminalized sex work, and sent sex workers into hiding.

Read the rest

Read a report from Human Rights Watch on the subject

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...