New HIV/AIDS Resources Offer Opportunity To Aid Sex Workers, Trafficking Victims, Opinion Piece Says
"The new resources available for HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment offer the prospect of strategies to aid" child sex workers and trafficking victims, who are "overwhelmingly at risk" of contracting HIV, Holly Burkhalter, U.S. policy director of Physicians for Human Rights and its Health Action AIDS Campaign, writes in a Washington Post opinion piece. An estimated 60% to 80% of sex workers in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean are HIV-positive, Burkhalter notes. However, the global AIDS initiative requires U.S.-funded groups to oppose sex work and human trafficking, a position that could "end up defunding some of the most successful HIV/AIDS prevention services and empowerment strategies for women in the sex industry," Burkhalter says. "Sound health policy" should include attempts to free children and adults from the "sex slave trade" while also securing condoms, health care and protection from police violence, Burkhalter says, concluding, "Policymakers and nongovernmental organizations across the ideological spectrum," including those that oppose all sex work, "must join hands to get the job done" (Burkhalter, Washington Post, 12/8).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.