Kenya must legalise sex work for the sake of human rights and public health

By Phelister Wamboi Abdalla

International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers offers politicians a chance to ponder the manifold benefits of decriminalising Kenya's sex industry

Kenyan sex workers and human rights activists took to the streets of the small town of Nakuru on 12 October to protest against the killing of seven female sex workers in 10 days. They called for proper investigations and better security by police.

The demonstration was organised by the Kenya Sex Workers Alliance (Keswa) and included family members of the women who had been killed. Keswa estimates that at least 40 sex workers are killed each month in Kenya, and claims police neglect in the cases. The Nakuru rally was part of a larger effort to fight for safety and justice for sex workers. The need for this battle was illustrated last month when 300 sex workers in Kisii, a rural town, were arrested and forcefully tested for HIV.


Being HIV-positive can get you kicked out of school in India

NEW DELHI, India — India has the third-largest population of HIV-positive people of any country in the world. Yet for the last five months, a 7-year-old boy in the state of West Bengal endured a life of isolation when the parents of other children at his school discovered that he had the virus.

A hundred parents signed a petition demanding that the boy be asked to leave. His grandmother, a teacher at the same school, was made to take an HIV test to ascertain her "purity." It was negative but, she says, she has faced verbal abuse ever since.


Namibia: HIV, Human Rights and Sex Work

Although the AIDS response in the region has achieved numerous gains over the past decade, the epidemic is characterised by inequalities in access to services and the response is not matching up to the demand for HIV prevention services and commodities, particularly for key populations at higher risk of HIV such as sex workers and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people.

In 2014, the AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa (Arasa) launched the most recent update of its biannual report on the status of HIV and Human Rights in East and Southern Africa.


HIV Legal & LGBT Organizations Call for Broader Efforts to End HIV Criminalization

New Campaign Marks Increased Engagement of LGBT Organizations in Opposition to HIV Criminal Laws

Dec.1, 2015, New York, NY. The Center for HIV Law and Policy, the leading resource hub on HIV law in the U.S., announced a new partnership with the Human Rights Campaign and the National Center for Lesbian Rights to raise awareness about the harms of HIV criminal laws. The centerpiece of the joint campaign is a video about what these laws do, whom they target, and how they cause harm without any perceptible benefit.


New study reveals who is being impacted by California laws that criminalize people living with HIV

LOS ANGELES — California laws that criminalize people living with HIV have directly affected 800 people from 1988 to June 2014, according to state-level criminal offender record information from the California Department of Justice obtained by the Williams Institute. The state outcomes suggest that national HIV criminalization rates may be much higher than currently estimated.