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The Global HIV Epidemics among Sex Workers
The Global HIV Epidemics among Sex Workers

Since the beginning of the epidemic sex workers have experienced a heightened burden of HIV. Unfortunately, sex workers’ HIV and health-related risks and rights have often gone unattended and global resource allocation related to HIV prevention, treatment and care has not been based on rigorous analysis in terms of the evidence related to sex work and HIV. To inform an equitable, effective, and sustainable response to HIV which promotes and protects the human rights of sex workers, the following questions were addressed in this analysis, focusing largely on female sex workers from lower and middle income countries:

  • What is the global burden of HIV among sex workers? How do sex worker HIV burdens compare to the general population? How does this vary by region?
  • How does the policy and social context shape sex workers’ HIV risk across geographic settings? How does this context influence the provision and coverage of HIV services?
  • To what extent can comprehensive HIV prevention at-scale among sex workers modify HIV transmission dynamics among sex workers and the general population?
  • What are the most cost-effective HIV prevention, treatment, and care interventions in the context of sex work? What combinations of services are most cost-effective?
  • Given this evidence, what are the implications for allocative efficiency in HIV prevention programs?
  • How does violence against sex workers affect their health and human rights and HIV transmission dynamics among sex workers and the general population across settings?
  • What has been the role of sex worker leadership in promoting the human rights of and reducing the burden of and risks for HIV infection among sex workers across contexts?
Media type: Document
Year of publication:
Language: English
Key population: Sex Workers

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