Tag: HIV/AIDS

HIV2020: why? how? scholarship applications and expressions of interest due Jan 31

HIV2020 is a conference event scheduled to take place in Mexico City, July 5-7, 2020, and will run concurrently with the first half of the international AIDS conference. The organizers are aiming to provide a safe alternative for people who cannot or will not enter the United States in 2020. HIV2020 will also offer new opportunities to reaffirm the leading role communities play in the global HIV response. HIV2020 is supported by global sex worker networks.

How to apply? AIDS Action Europe has put together a useful guide on how to apply for scholarships and to express interest to speak. We also learned from Triple-X in Canada that the steps for scholarships are to 1) Register as participant for free and 2) apply for scholarship link. Scholarship applications and proposals are due NO LATER THAN January 31, 2020.

More information about HIV2020 and AIDS2020 from BPPP and partner groups. As we have noted in another post about navigating the International AIDS Conferences this year, the International AIDS Society has made the incorrect decision to host AIDS2020 in San Francisco further marginalizes our communities and places global attendees at risk should they attempt to enter the United States at a time of oppression at US borders. BPPP supports the alternate/protest/#move conference site Mexico called HIV2020 and we will be fundraising for people to go to these alternate conferences just as we did for AIDS2012. However, since relatively few members of our community can travel due to restrictions on travel documents placed on our US based members because of the prison industrial complex and other oppression. We support actions inside and outside of the US to hold AIDS2020, the US and the IAS accountable. Read more about actions inside the US here.

Organizing in Washington DC during AIDS2012 (photo by PJ Starr)

Navigating AIDS2020 (first steps)

Breaking down barriers to attend International AIDS Conferences is a central element of BPPP’s work. Attending the conferences allows sex worker, drug user, indigenous and trans rights representatives, who have been marginalized repeatedly in the HIV/AIDS discourse, to forge global connections, protest, educate and be heard. The International AIDS Society has made the incorrect decision to host AIDS2020 in San Francisco in ways that even further marginalize our communities and place global attendees at risk should they attempt to enter the United States at a time of violence and oppression at US borders.

One of BPPP’s key partners in HIV/AIDS policy work is the Outlaw Project. We have been vocal participants in actions to pressure to move the conference from San Francisco. Now that official AIDS2020 deadlines approach we want to share our thinking with community members who may be struggling with what steps to take. Our approach is that our communities are NOT to blame for the mistakes of the IAS and we will not shame or question decisions people make to have their voices heard or to protest. This is their mess, not ours. We encourage people from our communities to apply to present in all aspects of AIDS2020 (deadline for Abstracts is January 14, 2020) and to apply for a scholarship by January 15, 2020 (11:59pm CET/5:59pm EST/2:59pm PST). This is called “getting a foot in the door” so that we will have space and whatever funds available to get activists to San Francisco as needs be. We will not be silent. We will be reaching out and working with local groups in San Francisco to follow their lead and sharing resources so that people who choose to go to AIDS2020, know the risks they are facing, have the best accommodation possible and are in solidarity with local organizations. Please reach out to us at hivaidsbppp@gmail.com if you need any help applying for AIDS2020 and check out our webinar recording from 2018 about how to apply.

#Move! Secondly, we support alternate conference sites in countries other than the US and we will also be fundraising for people to go to these alternate conferences just as we did for AIDS2012. However, relatively few members of our community can travel due to restrictions on travel documents placed on our US based members because of the prison industrial complex and other oppression. We support actions inside and outside of the US to hold AIDS2020, the US and the IAS accountable.

Please reach out to us at hivaidsbppp@gmail.com if you have any coalition you would like us to join or if you would like to join with us. We are working with numerous organizations not listed here who inform our approach.


Sex Workers Unite for AIDS2018

The next International AIDS Conference (AIDS2018) will be held in Amsterdam, July 23 to 27, 2018. The Best Practices Policy Project regularly communicates with our networks to ensure that communities in the US have the most up-to-date information about activities at AIDS2018. If you are from the community of sex workers in the US and need support, please contact us at hivaidsbppp@gmail.com to get information and assistance in regards to applying to attend. Please also view our webinar on how to apply. Sex worker rights advocates interested in health and rights, and creating a presence at the AIDS2018 are encouraged to:

  • apply for a scholarship from the International AIDS Society by February 5, 2018. According to the AIDS2018 website scholarships are for “people from resource-limited settings and communities, researchers, young people, community activists and civil society representatives” which in BPPP’s experience does include sex worker rights advocates. Please note that a “letter of recommendation” is needed to apply. The AIDS2018 website also states that “priority will be given to those whose participation will help enhance their work in their own communities, to those who are able to assist in the transfer of skills and knowledge acquired at the conference, and to those whose abstract, workshop or programme activity submission has been selected.” So, applying to be part of the conference by presenting, organizing a workshop or taking part in the “global village” will enhance chances in getting a scholarship. More details on how to apply for are available AIDS2018 and via the IAC’s webinars online. If you are a representative of the movement for the rights of sex workers in the United States and/or a community organizer for the rights of people in the sex trade and need some help applying or a letter of recommendation, then email hivaidsbppp@gmail.com by January 20, 2018 to see how we might be able to assist.
  • Submit an abstract to present about your work or research by February 5, 2018. The AIDS2018 abstract mentoring program is open to provide support if you register by January 15, 2014. If the AIDS2018 mentoring program is not what you need, please email hivaidsbppp@gmail.com by January 25, 2018 to see how we might be able to assist.
  • Apply to present about your work, organize a workshop or to showcase your cultural works at the Global Village and Youth Program by February 5. If you are a representative of the movement for the rights of sex workers in the United States and/or a community organizer for the rights of sex workers and people in the sex trade and need some help applying then email BPPP hivaidsbppp@gmail.com by January 25, 2018 to see how we might be able to assist.

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 or if something concerns you as a community organizer for the rights of sex workers and people in the sex trade then email hivaidsbppp@gmail.comat 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.

Why attend? 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. 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. We have supported sex workers attendance at International AIDS conference for more than a decade and are here to help.

Navigating the References: Part 1

In 2015, Jill McCracken prepared for a TEDx talk on the topic “Selling Sex: Contradicting Violence with Choice” amassing a great deal of the current research on the topic. Later in 2015 Jill joined BPPP’s research advisory committee for the Nothing About Us, Without Us Project, and these references and summaries proved to be an extremely valuable resource as we developed our work on HIV policy and sex worker rights. She has now kindly provided us with a comprehensive blog posting collating key research summaries. We are publishing her post in two parts, the first focusing on the intersections of sex work, HIV and health, and the second part will focus on references referencing trafficking in persons. Jill is an Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Writing Studies at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg and author of the book Street Sex Workers Discourse.

Navigating the References Connecting Sex Work, Criminalization, and Violence

By Jill McCracken, PhD

You may not learn a great deal of new information in this blog. I say that truthfully and also to acknowledge the incredible work that has and continues to be done and shared within the sex worker rights movement and beyond. As I was compiling these sources and writing the blog, explained more fully below, I was continually hearing myself say, “Well, this is nothing new. This is what we have been saying all along”. And yet, because sources are making this information known through case studies, sites of analysis, research methodologies, and community organizations and perspectives, it becomes extremely helpful to reiterate this information and put it in one place for easy reference; at least it has been helpful for me.

When I found out I was going to give a TEDx talk at the University of South Florida, I was instantly terrified. My terror is usually linked to not only my high expectations for myself, but also my fear of disappointing my audience. And when I considered my fear in relationship to this project (working through my fear has become my new way of being of late), I realized the audience I was most afraid of disappointing was my sex worker and sex worker rights colleagues and organizations. I also knew that in order to give a talk that was worthy of the subject matter: A World Beyond Ourselves, I would need to, once again, rely on my sex worker and sex worker rights colleagues and friends. I therefore went to my many online lists and organizations and asked for help. I also did a great deal of research. Ironically, most, if not all, of this research did not actually make it into the talk, because I later found out that TEDx talks were not meant to include lots of statistics and facts, but rather stories and information the audience can relate to. But what I did find in doing all of that research was that I became even more convinced of my (and many others’) central idea for this talk: that sex work must be decriminalized if we are to reduce violence against sex workers, sex workers must be at the forefront of any discussions about these policies, and that we must focus on a rights-based approach rather than a prosecution or criminal-based approach.

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