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Today is the World AIDS Day

Today, 1st of December, is the World AIDS Day. On this day, every year we remember those who passed away from AIDS and honour those who advocate to fight against the HIV epidemic. SWAN also expresses solidarity with all the people who are affected by HIV.

In many countries of the EECA region HIV treatment is still unavailable for many and even if available, people living with HIV face barriers and discrimination when accessing HIV services.   

The community of sex workers play a crucial role in the response to HIV epidemic globally. Therefore SWAN continues promoting SWIT among its members as a comprehensive guideline and resource for community mobilisation, for organizing against violence, for developing, implementing and monitoring programmes (including HIV programmes), which the sex worker community either lead or meaningfully contribute to.

The sex workers’ community got the support this year from UNAIDS, who calls for decriminalisation of sex work in their new strategy. As stated in the UNAIDS strategy, stigma and discrimination against key populations is a major contributor to high HIV prevalence and linked to lower level of access to health care and housing.

Today, SWAN calls to end the harmful punitive practices that discriminate and stigmatise sex workers, and to promote the human rights based approach and the meaningful participation of sex workers in all the decisions that affect their lives.