About Careers Internship MedBlog Contact us

Sex Workers Hold Their Own AIDS Conference After Denied US Visa

by VR Sreeraman on July 22, 2012 at 3:16 PM
Font : A-A+

 Sex Workers Hold Their Own AIDS Conference After Denied US Visa

Hundreds of sex workers from around the world began their own meeting in Kolkata on Saturday after they were denied visas to attend international AIDS conference in the United States.

Some 550 representatives of sex workers from India and 41 other countries were attending the seven-day event in the eastern Indian city, organizers said.

"Sex workers wanted to be a part of the US conference to fight the challenge of HIV/AIDS across the world," said Bharati De, secretary of the Committee for Coordination of Indomitable Women, which represents sex workers in Kolkata.

India's AIDS control program has cut new HIV/AIDS infections by 50 percent in the last 10 years. The country has an estimated 2.4 million people with HIV.

One of India's key strategies has been to scale up preventive education campaigns among high-risk groups such as sex workers.

But despite the significant drop in fresh cases, India still has the highest number of people living with HIV after South Africa and Nigeria.

The Indian conference has been called the sex workers' "Freedom Festival".

The Kolkata meeting will deliberate on the "Seven Freedoms" -- the right to move, work, have access to healthcare, participate, organize, be free of violence and discrimination -- without which sex workers say they cannot reduce their vulnerability to HIV.

"Sex workers have decided to hold a parallel conference here in Kolkata to make their voices heard," Smarajit Jana, chairwoman of the Indian event, told AFP.

"We hope this conference will make sex workers' voices louder and stronger," Jana said outside the conference auditorium on the eastern fringes of the West Bengal state capital.

Held every two years, the International AIDS Conference is returning to the United States for the first time since 1990, after being kept away by laws that barred people with HIV from traveling to the country.

Some 25,000 people, including celebrities, scientists and HIV sufferers are expected to attend the US conference which opens on Sunday to call for a jumpstart in the global response to the three-decade AIDS epidemic.

The US conference runs until July 27.

But "the US government's travel restriction for sex workers will bar many of them from attending the conference," Andrew Hunter, president of the Global Network of Sex Work Projects, said in Kolkata.

"With the US now leading the fight for lesbian, gay and transgender equality, we are extremely disappointed they refuse to revise their restrictions on sex workers and refuse to recognize we're human beings with basic rights," he added.

Kolkata sex worker Bharati De said she was disappointed she could not go to Washington.

"The restrictions imposed by the US on granting visas to sex workers have dashed our hopes of sharing our opinions with others," she told AFP.

More than 34 million people worldwide are living with HIV, a higher number than ever before, and around 30 million have died from AIDS-related causes since the disease first emerged in the 1980s, according to UNAIDS.

Source: AFP

News A-Z
What's New on Medindia
World Heart Day in 2022- Use Heart for Every Heart
Anemia among Indian Women and Children Remains a Cause of Concern- National Family Health Survey-5
H1N1 Influenza Prevention in Children: What Parents Need to Know
View all
Recommended Reading
News Archive
News Category

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Oral Health And AIDS AIDS/HIV AIDS/HIV - Epidemiology AIDS/HIV - Clinical Features AIDS/HIV - Health Education AIDS/HIV - Prevention And Transmission AIDS / HIV - Treatment AIDS/HIV- Lab Tests and Faqs AIDS - Initial Theories and Disease Progression AIDS/HIV - Worldwide distribution and Risk of Transmission 

Most Popular on Medindia

Iron Intake Calculator Hearing Loss Calculator Selfie Addiction Calculator Noscaphene (Noscapine) The Essence of Yoga Diaphragmatic Hernia How to Reduce School Bag Weight - Simple Tips Sinopril (2mg) (Lacidipine) Color Blindness Calculator Turmeric Powder - Health Benefits, Uses & Side Effects
This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use

Sexual Problem

Consult an Expert


Sex Workers Hold Their Own AIDS Conference After Denied US Visa Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests