Gearing up for the International AIDS Conference: sex worker pre-conference and OSI symposium

Universal Action for Sex Worker InclusionA quick taste of what’s going on today in Mexico City for sex workers leading up to the International AIDS Conference:

Right now I’m in the middle of the Open Society Institute‘s “Breaking Borders” symposium on women and HIV. Gabriela Leite of Davida, Brazil’s prostitutes’ rights organization, is currently speaking on Brazil’s turning back USD$48 million in PEPFAR funding when the strings attached required them to stop working with sex workers. (PEPFAR, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, was administered by Randall Tobias until he had to leave his post last Spring — when Deborah Jean Palfrey named him as a former client of her escort service.) Gabriela was with us at the pre-conference, as were other “Breaking Borders” speakers Cynthia Navarrete of Aproase, who helped organize the pre-conference, and Elena Reynaga of the Argentine Association of Sex Workers. I also gave a talk this morning based on the report I co-authored with the Tactical Tech Collective on sex workers’ use of technology and social media for human rights advocacy and movement building.

Darby Hickey from Different Avenues gave a great wrap-up of pre-conference actions at the AIDS2008 blog. Stella is also blogging the conference — I’ll post a link as soon as I get back to wifi (or add it to the comments!).

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