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Fall-Winter issue, 2010 (# 29-30 combined)

From Editor:
2010 was a year rich in experience and activities to such an extent that SWAN secretariat was not able to keep up with sharing the news. Please, read the sub-articles embedded in each of the articles and share our pride and enthusiasm with us!


December 17: flare, courage and creativity.

Year 2010, sex workers and their allies marked December 17 with great flare, courage and creativity. HESED in Bulgaria brought awareness about December 17th to sex workers in bars, apartments and on the internet- as well as to public health officials, NGOs and other institutions. In Hungary, the Association of Hungarian Sex Workers took to the streets under red umbrellas to highlight the day, as well as their 10th anniversary. Postcards with a message about sex workers’ rights were sent to media, politicians and a host of other actors. Read more and in detail here.

(KG Press-release)

Rights Here, Right Now: XVIII International AIDS Conference, Vienna, Austria (July 18-23, 2010)
The XVIII International AIDS Conference, also referred as IAC 2010, has been one of the brightest highlights of the 2010 summer, which involved activists, scientists, researchers and conference organizers preparing months before its actual opening. It was planned to be an occasion to bring together experts in the field of HIV, as well as policy makers, persons living with HIV and other individuals committed to ending the pandemic and, according to its organizers, to "evaluate recent scientific developments and lessons learnt, and collectively chart a course forward”. The articles in this newsletter will give a brief overview of how sex workers fit into this plan and how they ensured that the voices of one of the most affected groups was heard at the event.


Global Fund Meeting in Sofia: Activists Demand More Funding for the CEE/CA
From December 13th to 15th, Sofia, Bulgaria was host to the 22nd meeting of the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM). Each year, the Global Fund holds a meeting away from its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, to offer delegates the opportunity to visit programs financed by the Global Fund. This was the first meeting held in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region. More…

Hungary: Celebrating a decade of work for sex workers' rights
The Association of Hungarian Sex Workers (SZEXE) celebrated its 10 year anniversary on the September 20th, 2010. The celebration included a short media sensitization and information session using SWAN materials and then speeches Ms. Ágnes Földi, chairwoman of the organization and Mr. Tamás Árva, the legal aid provider of the Association. More…

Macedonia: HOPS wins HIV and human rights award
Advocacy on Behalf of Sex Workers and Drug Users Honored at International AIDS Conference
By Marija Tosheva, HOPS, Macedonia
Healthy Options Project Skopje (HOPS, Macedonia) became the recipient of the 2010 International Award for Action on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights, presented by the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network and Human Rights Watch. The award, which recognizes outstanding individuals and organizations that protect the rights and dignity of people living with or affected by HIV/AIDS, was presented in Vienna on July 20, 2010, at the XVIII International AIDS Conference. More...

Lithuania: Coalition strengthens relationship with journalists
June, 2010 – Though it was Saturday, journalists met with SWAN representatives in Lithuania to talk about sex work. In hope to establish a closer and more productive relationship and to open a dialogue on the representation of sex workers in media, Coalition I Can Live invited journalists from various printed media for a discussion. More…


SWAN invited to train with the National Press Foundation
By Aliya Rakhmetova
July 16, Vienna, Austria - The International AIDS Conference (IAC) was preceded by a number of events to provide space for journalists, communities representatives, networks and researchers to make their participation in the IAC as meaningful as possible. In the framework of the IAC, SWAN was invited to hold a training with the National Press Foundation (http://www.nationalpress.org), whose primary mission is to increase journalists’ knowledge of complex issues in order to improve public knowledge. More…


Slovakia: MY RIGHT - MY CHOICE...
Translated from INTOXI, Slovak magazine for sex workers and drug users
Not long time ago I received an invitation from Eva from Odyseus, to attend a meeting of sex workers, which was to be held in Vienna. It was a pre-meeting of huge one-week long AIDS conference, about which you read in the previous issue of Intoxi. More…

Hungary: It was a joy, a pleasure and an honour
An article by a Hungarian sex worker
Before I tell you about my experience in Vienna, I would first like to congratulate everybody who put so much effort into organising the Journalist session and the Sex Workers Pre-Conference meeting. It was a joy, a pleasure and an honour to partake in these meetings as a Sex Worker and if I was asked to partake again, I would gladly do it. More…

Slovakia: I am a sex worker, not a boxing sack!

17 December is an International Day to end violence against people working in sex industry. Given the opportunity, Odyseus (www.odyseus.org) recorded and published two interviews with women who sell sexual services in Slovakia. More…


"It's Not Selling Your Body, It's More Like Controlled-Access Rental"
By Titania Kumeh
Asked if he’s ever felt exploited as a sex worker, Will Rockwell—the 24-year-old editor-in-chief of the sex worker-operated magazine $pread—replies, "Yes, by the media. Every interview we do is twisted for the purposes of sensationalistic propaganda, whether it's the conservative New York Post jerking itself off over the Spitzer scandal or Ms. Magazine fantasizing about female victimhood and applying it in broad strokes to people they never really cared to know, and certainly never offered a helping hand free of judgment and surveillance." He says the sensationalist and often stereotype-ridden depictions of sex workers—prostitutes, exotic dancers, dominatrices, phone-sex operators, and people who engage in informal forms of transactional sex—by media outlets sparked the 2005 creation of $pread, the country’s only magazine developed by and for sex workers. More...




Support Ukranian sex workers


Uganda petition
This fall, for the second time, the Ugandan government has shut down a meeting on sex workers' rights that was to be attended by sex workers, feminist groups and human rights activists. Citing the law against sex work, the Minister of Ethics and Integrity warned the hotel that was to host the event that it would be complicit in breaking the law if it welcomed delegates. More..

Intervention Effort Cuts HIV Incidence Among Female Sex Workers
Newswise, USA
June 29, 2010 — U.S.-Mexico border program is modest in cost and time, but notably effective.
A team of researchers from the University of California San Diego and Mexico has found that even a modest behavioral intervention program averaging just 35 minutes can measurably reduce the incidence of HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among female sex workers in the U.S.-Mexico border region – and that the program succeeds at comparatively little expense.
The findings will be published online by the journal PLoS One on June 30. More…

Sex workers 'cleaned off' Durban streets
IOL News, South Africa
June 27, 2010 - Prostitutes hoping to cash in on the World Cup hype have had their time cut out trying to ply their trade while police and community workers "clean up the streets" in major cities including Durban.More…

S.F. Weighs Decriminalizing Prostitution
KNX1070, USA
Jul 4, 2010 - In this live-and-let-live town, where medical marijuana clubs do business next to grocery stores and an annual fair celebrates sadomasochism, prostitutes could soon walk the streets without fear of arrest.
San Francisco would become the first major U.S. city to decriminalize prostitution if voters next month approve Proposition K - a measure that forbids local authorities from investigating, arresting or prosecuting anyone for selling sex. More…