Sex workers, governments and UN join hands to boost AIDS response in Asia-Pacific region

PATTAYA, Thailand, 15 October 2010 – At the first-ever Asia-Pacific consultation on HIV and sex work, sex workers, government officials and United Nations participants emphasized the need for urgent action to increase focus and positioning of sex work within HIV responses in the region.

Close to 150 delegates from eight countries (China, Cambodia, Fiji, Indonesia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea and Thailand) met in Pattaya, Thailand, to form partnerships and review policies and laws that keep sex workers from accessing HIV services and sexual and reproductive health services.

“Sex work interventions must be central to scaling up the HIV response, and listening to sex workers is crucial,” said Jan Beagle, Deputy Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) who spoke at the consultation. “Sex workers experience firsthand the effects of laws and harmful enforcement practices that violate their human rights and hamper progress on HIV,” he said. Continue reading


CalOSHA Sez: Almost All Adult Movies Are Non-Compliant

Posted Jun 29th, 2010 06:07 PM by Mark Kernes

LOS ANGELES—Those who showed up at the Cal/OSHA Advisory Meeting on Bloodborne Pathogens in the Adult Film Industry today expecting a discussion of whether condoms should be mandated in adult movies were in for a surprise: According to both Cal/OSHA inspector Deborah Gold and agency attorney Amy Martin, condoms are already required for sex scenes, and any production that doesn’t use them is breaking the law.

“I’d just like to make something very clear,” Gold said at one point. “Right now, the standard mandates the use of condoms, so people who have come here and think that we’re arguing about whether we’re going to mandate the use of condoms need to understand that the current status quo is Continue reading

Country’s first legal gigolo starts work in Nevada

By Oskar Garcia
Associated Press Writer / January 22, 2010

This undated photo provided by OC Modeling of Chatsworth, Calif. shows "Markus" Nevada's first male prostitute. A brothel in an isolated Nevada town has hired the state's first male prostitute, a muscular college dropout who abandoned a brief stint as a porn actor in Los Angeles to become the only legal gigolo in the United States. (AP Photo/OC Modeling)

BEATTY, Nev.—A brothel in a Nevada desert town has hired the state’s first male prostitute, a muscular college dropout who abandoned a brief stint as a porn actor in Los Angeles to become the only legal gigolo in the United States.

The Shady Lady Ranch successfully won state and county approval to clear the way for the “prostidude,” as Nevada’s newest sex worker is already being called. After a slow first week on the job, his first appointments are scheduled for this weekend.

The male prostitute — known as “Markus” — has quickly become the center of attention in Nevada’s brothel industry.

He has been criticized by female counterparts for not being willing to have sex with men. And he created a dustup after telling Details Magazine that his pioneering role in the sex business was “just the same” as civil rights icon Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat and move to the back of the bus. Not surprisingly, he has been forbidden from doing interviews after the remarks. Continue reading

Older Stories: Nairobi: Prostitutes from the slum may hold key to Aids cure

David Orr- Nairobi
Thursday, 23 January 1997

Monica Marwa is a 25-year-old prostitute living in the notorious Majengo slum on the outskirts of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. She charges between 30 and 50 Kenyan shillings (between 33 and 55 pence) for sex. There is nothing extraordinary about her line of work nor about her fees – it is estimated that more than half of the women in Majengo sell their bodies for such paltry rewards.

What is surprising is that, despite years of unprotected sex and exposure to the HIV virus, Monica seems to be immune to Aids.

Hers is one of some 40 similar cases in Majengo which scientists believe could hold the key to an Aids cure. In a programme bringing together the University of Nairobi with Oxford University and two universities in North America, researchers are mapping the genes of Majengo’s HIV-resistant women in an effort to discover what it is that protects them from infection. Continue reading

ZAMBIA: PEPFAR prevention approach too narrow – report

JOHANNESBURG, 30 June 2009 (PlusNews) – The United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has taken a damagingly narrow approach to HIV prevention in Zambia, ignoring realities on the ground and neglecting the most at-risk populations, says a new report.

Researchers from the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS), a non-governmental organization that advocates sexual and reproductive health education and services, travelled to Zambia to determine what nearly US$577 million in PEPFAR funding between 2004 and 2008 had achieved.

Their findings are based on interviews with HIV/AIDS organizations, activists, medical professionals, community leaders, policymakers and programme participants. Continue reading

Infected and untreated, prostitutes behind Knox County syphilis outbreak

By J.J. Stambaugh (Contact)
Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Dozens of Knoxville’s street-level prostitutes are infected with syphilis or HIV and many of them don’t even know it, according to the Knox County Health Department.

Even when prostitutes do know that they’re potentially spreading a lethal disease and might face a stiff prison term for it, many continue plying their trade from the sidewalks of North and East Knoxville with little concern for themselves, their customers or the innocent who might end up infected, said Gary Messer, who does public outreach for the Health Department.

“It hasn’t stopped some of these women from continuing the process out there,” Messer said. “Right now there are around 10 prostitutes who are HIV-positive. Continue reading

West Hollywood Condom protest

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

p. 6.

A young girl holds a sign during a rally in support of the use of condoms in the adult film industry in West Hollywood yesterday. The rally was organized by AIDS Healthcare Foundation in support of a legislation that would mandate the use of protection by adult actors.

PHOTO: Mario Anzuoni/Reuters