The first ever US national report by sex worker led organizations on the impact of HIV and HIV policies on sex workers is now available. DOWNLOAD THE FULL REPORT.
This report is the first in a series to be produced as part of the project Nothing About Us, Without Us: HIV/AIDS-related Community and Policy Organizing by US Sex Workers and focuses on the experiences of transgender people who are also sex workers (or who are profiled as sex workers).
The Nothing About Us, Without Us: HIV/AIDS-related Community and Policy Organizing by US Sex Workers is a joint project of Best Practices Policy Project and Desiree Alliance. The project is funded by the Elton John AIDS Foundation. The project includes advocacy and organizing efforts led by US sex workers and we are producing a series of reports aiming to unveil how current HIV policies impact groups of people who are usually silenced and excluded from policy debates. Our first report will focus on the experiences transgender people who are also sex workers (or who are profiled as sex workers). We are also documenting the experiences of sex workers in general, especially people who are most excluded, such as people from low income communities especially those of color, youth, drug users and people who have experienced incarceration to guide our future work. The Nothing About Us, Without Us: HIV/AIDS-related Community and Policy Organizing for US Sex Workers project will show the ways in which communities are organizing together to build leadership in order to influence policies and practices that impact their own lives.
The current Nothing About Us, Without Us: HIV/AIDS-related Community and Policy Organizing for US Sex Workers community based research team is made up of Sharmus Outlaw, Penelope Saunders, J. Kirby, Derek Demeri and Katrina Shin. The project was joined by Mackenzie Collins for the Summer of 2015. The report reader and key advisor for Desiree Alliance is Cris Sardina. The research is also guided by the project advisory of community advocates and researchers listed below.
Research Project Advisory
Monica Jones is a trans woman of color activist, a human rights defender and a student of social work at Arizona State University student in Phoenix. She has been a human rights advocate at United Nations in Geneva as part of the Universal Periodic Review of the United States in 2015 and challenged the validity of the “manifesting the intent to prostitute” statute in Phoenix after her own arrest in 2013.
Loftin Wilson is a southern, queer, transmasculine harm reductionist originally from a small town in rural central NC, who now lives in Durham, NC. He has worked as a Harm Reduction Organizer for the North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition for five years, doing overdose prevention, HIV/hepatitis prevention, and syringe access work with a focus on the transgender community. He has also worked as SWOP-USA’s New Chapter Coordinator since January 2015, and during that time has supported the formation of 5 new SWOP chapters doing sex worker support and advocacy across the US. Loftin is a passionate believer in harm reduction, sex worker and drug user rights, prison abolition, and gender self-determination.
Kiesha McCurtis has worked in the HIV prevention field in both research and community-based settings. Her interests include social justice and human rights-based approaches to HIV prevention through research, activism, advocacy, and training. She has been an integral member of several organizations for the rights of sex workers including having been a consultant for Desiree Alliance and a volunteer for BPPP and Different Avenues.
Bré Campbell is a Transgender Research Assistant for the University of Michigan’s SexLab and the Testing Lab Coordinator and HIV Prevention Specialist for Wayne State University School of Medicine’s Horizons Project. She is also the Executive Director of the Trans Sistah’s of Color Project. Bré serves on the steering committee member of the Detroit Stigma Index and is a research consultant with Positively Trans (T+), a project of the Transgender Law Center.
Jill McCracken is an Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Writing Studies at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, where she teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in rhetoric; writing studies; sex work; and gender, sexuality, and feminist theory. Her research interests include the rhetoric of marginalized communities, in particular sex work & sex trafficking; public policy; gender; violence against girls and women; ethnography and participatory research methods; and criminalization.