Research-to-Action

Researchers call for improvement in support for sex workers to control HIV pandemic

Healio Infectious Disease
Wednesday, July 23, 2014

...New research by Kate Shannon, PhD, Gender and Sexual Health Initiative, BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, University of British Columbia, and colleagues conducted for the series showed that changes in structural determinants could have a profound effect on HIV infection rates. The research indicated that reducing sexual violence could reduce HIV infection rates by approximately one-fifth, in both high- and low-income settings, and improving access to ART could prevent one-third of HIV infections in low-income settings.

However, the researchers also found that decriminalization of sex work would have the single greatest effect on the course of HIV epidemics across all settings studied and could potentially avert at least one-third of HIV infections among sex workers and their clients during the next decade, through its immediate and sustained effect on violence, policing and safer work environments.