Networking in Vancouver
Report on the XI International Conference on AIDS July 7-12, 1996.

At the Sessions:
Sex Work and HIV: Toward Understanding and Global Solidarity

On Tuesday Cheryl Overs and Andrew Sorfleet chaired a round table with panelists were Elizabeth Ried, United Nations Development Programme; Paulo Longo, Programa "Pegaçao", Brazil; Claudia Fischer, Deutsch Aids Hilfe, Germany; Josef Decosas, Independent Commercial Development Worker, from Montreal working in West Africa.

Left to right: Andrew Sorfleet, Vancouver, Cheryl Overs, U.K. and Paulo Longo, Brazil at the session,

The first speaker was Elizabeth Ried, the director of UNAIDS who presented a paper entitled, "Deconstructing Sex Work" in which she posited sex workers in a peripheral rather than central position epidemiologically. On her model, which was clearly about Africa, men rather than women are central since they are agents of control and move between women whose motivations and status are relatively fixed wife, sex worker, mistress, casual partners. It is this multi partner sex she says which needs to be understood by men as "uneccessary and dangerous"

Josef Decosas opened his presentation, The Changing profile of Female Prostitution in West Africa, saying that he was also an occasional client of prostitutes. He said that he felt people should say how they feel about prostitution before they begin and his feelings about prostitution are "there is nothing wrong with it." He talked about the change in the workplace of sex work... (Transcript to come.) Josef Decosas also presented an abstract entitled HIV and Development (We.13).

Paulo Longo Started by saying that Cheryl had asked him to talk about funding but then told the audience that he decided to tell a story instead. He started by talking about being at a conference and seeing this doctor's research and he even told us his name, and this research said that 42% of Brazilian hustlers were HIV positive. He looked at his research closer and found that his sample was from a particular area of Rio de Janeiro, and was of 33 hustlers.

He talked about the hustlers forming their own group to share condoms (when you had more than one) and ... Soon they were joined by many groups, the trangenders, the gays, ... The united nations gave them an award fifth most efficient project but still no funding...(tape ordered. transcript to come?) (Someone could fill this in a bit too, tapes will take six weeks plus listening and transcribing...)

NOSS/Programa Pegacao was one of a small number of organisations invited to present at a successful interventions meeting put on by the Global Program on AIDS and is widely acknowledged as a model project.

Transcript of session... [XI AIDS Report] [XI AIDS Abstracts] [Rights Groups]

Created: July 16, 1996
Last modified: March 9, 1997

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