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Travailleurs, travailleuses du sexe

UNAIDS guidance note on HIV and sex work

In a world where the overwhelming majority of HIV infections are sexually transmitted, sex workers and their clients are at heightened risk of HIV, in large measure as a result of a larger number of sex partners. This Guidance Note from UNAIDS has been developed to provide the UNAIDS Cosponsors and Secretariat with a coordinated human-rights-based approach to promoting universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support in the context of adult sex work. The document provides clarification and direction regarding approaches by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS to reduce HIV risk and vulnerability in the context of sex work. It provides a policy and programmatic emphasis that rests on three interdependent pillars: (1) access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support for all sex workers and their clients (2) supportive environments and partnerships that facilitate universal access to needed services, including life choices and occupational alternatives to sex work for those who want to leave it; and (3) action to address structural issues related to HIV and sex work.

The document firmly built on human rights principles supporting the right of people to make informed choices about their lives, in a supportive environment that empowers them to make such choices free from coercion, violence and fear. In addition the Guidance Note affirms the human right to the liberty and security of person recognising each individual’s agency over her/his body and sexuality, as well each individual’s right not to be trafficked or held in slave-like conditions. A number of next steps are listed including that Member States should implement policies and programmes that support a comprehensive, rights-based approach to HIV and sex work. Progress should be monitored by national programmes, with support from UNAIDS. (2012)

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