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WHO Releases New Guidelines For Interventions Aimed At Protecting Sex Workers From HIV

The WHO on Wednesday “released new guidelines [.pdf] providing technical recommendations on effective interventions for the prevention and treatment of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among sex workers and their clients,” New Europe Online reports. “The guidelines were developed in cooperation with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and are directed, in particular, to national public health officials and managers of HIV/AIDS and STI programs, non-governmental organizations and health workers,” the news service notes (Gaydazhieva, 12/13).

“The new WHO guidelines recommend that countries work towards decriminalization of sex work and urge countries to improve sex workers’ access health services,” UNAIDS writes in an article on its webpage, noting “Sex workers in many places are highly vulnerable to HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) due to multiple factors, including large numbers of sex partners, unsafe working conditions and barriers to the negotiation of consistent condom use” (12/12). According to a WHO press release, the guidelines “also outline a set of interventions to empower sex workers and emphasize that correct and consistent condom use can reduce transmission between female, male and transgender sex workers and their clients” (12/12).