Category: Conferences

Notes of exclusion: the US Conference on AIDS, 2015

Earlier this year the Best Practices Policy Project contacted the organizers of the 19th Annual US Conference on AIDS to inquire as to how we might convene a panel or event about the impact of HIV related issues and policies on sex workers and people in the sex trade. During our initial call, we explained that sex worker lead organizations are now creating the first national level report on these issues and wanted to share our progress during the conference. Despite follow up communications to numerous USCA representatives in the months that followed, we never received any formal reply and not one of our applications for scholarships to attend was successful. The financial barriers to attending are significant: for all intents and purposes costs preclude any member of a sex worker lead organization from attending or even applying to attend. In order to even apply for scholarships, small and minimally funded organizations like BPPP are required to pay a fee of $250 or more. The conference registration fee itself is $800 and a sandwich bought at the conference site costs $18. Even though we received no support to attend some of our representatives–Derek Demeri of New Jersey Red Umbrella Alliance, Sharmus Outlaw and members of SWOP USA and chapters–have found a way to enter the event. The USCA belatedly responded to pressure from sex worker organizations to provide space for one panel Sex Worker Visibility and the United States’ National HIV/AIDS Strategy which conference organizers scheduled on the last day of the conference at 8.30 am (Sunday morning). Please join us on social media to learn more about the presentations #nothingaboutuswithoutus #USCA2015 #sexworkerrights

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An international AIDS Conference was held in Melbourne Australia July 20 to 25, 2014. The Best Practices Policy Project regularly communicated with our colleagues in Australia and other networks to ensure that communities in the US had the most up-to-date information about activities at the IAC. In 2014 the Best Practices Policy Project has publicized opportunities to apply to attend and present at the conference and has made a firm commitment to be part of the Sex Worker Networking Zone in the Global Village with our colleagues at Scarlet Alliance and via our booth US Sex Workers United! in partnership with the Desiree Alliance.

The International AIDS Conference is a very large event and can be daunting. Sex workers have organized protests and actions about specific issues at the conference over the years and have demanded change from the conference itself. If issues emerge that you want to talk about at the IAC or if something concerns you as a community organizer for the rights of sex workers and people in the sex trade then email BPPP (bestpracticespolicyproject @ at any time in the run up to the conference and we will do our best to connect you and to hear what you have to say.

Postings about AIDS2014 include:



A nivel mundial y dentro de los Estados Unidos, trabajador@s sexuales se organizan para enfrentar al impacto del VIH / SIDA. A pesar de la criminalización y estigmatización agravan el impacto del VIH en el sector del sexo, organizaciónes de base, programas dirigidos por nosotr@s mism@s, reducción de daños y investigación popular son extremadamente eficaces. Para compartir los logros de nuestras comunidades y difundir información precisa de lo que trabajador@s sexuales necesitan con respeto a servicios y políticas son unas razones por las cuales los representantes de las organizaciones de trabajador@s sexuales asisten a la Conferencia Internacional sobre el SIDA (IAC). Las y los trabajador@s sexuales también convergen en la conferencia, ya que es una de las muy pocas oportunidades cuando nuestra comunidad puede pasar tiempo con colegas de todo el mundo, para forjar nuevas conexiones, y para aprender y para inspirar.

La próxima IAC se celebrará en Melbourne Australia 20 a 25 julio, 2014. El Best Practices Policy Project se comunica regularmente con nuestros colegas en Australia y otras redes para asegurar que las comunidades en los EE.UU. tienen la información más actualizada de las actividades de la IAC. Se les anima las y los defensores de los derechos de las y los trabajador@s sexuales interesadas en la salud y los derechos y la creación de una presencia en el IAC 2014 a lo siguiente:

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DEADLINES approach for International AIDS Conference

Globally and within the US sex workers organize to address the impact of HIV/AIDS. Even though criminalization and stigma compound the impact of HIV on the sex sector, community based organizing, peer lead programs, harm reduction and grassroots research lead by sex workers are extremely effective. Sharing the achievements of sex worker communities and providing accurate information about what sex workers need in terms of services and policy are two very good reasons why representatives of sex worker rights organizations attend the International AIDS Conference (the IAC). Sex workers also converge on the conference because it is one of the very few opportunities for folks to spend time with their colleagues from all over the world, to forge new connections, to learn and to inspire.

The next IAC will be held in Melbourne Australia July 20 to 25, 2014. The Best Practices Policy Project regularly communicates with our colleagues in Australia and other networks to ensure that communities in the US have the most up-to-date information about activities at the IAC. Sex worker rights advocates interested in health and rights, and creating a presence at the IAC 2014 are encouraged to:

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