Decriminalize Sex Work – Prevent HIV

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While sex work is currently illegal in much of the U.S., there is debate about whether or not it should be decriminalized. Some activists and researchers believe decriminalization could help protect sex workers and benefit public health.

In data released in January, 2020, Data For Progress released Decriminalizing Survival: Policy Platform and Polling on the Decriminalization of Sex Work to educate the public and inform the political progress.  In their recent poll, Data For Progress found that the majority of voters support decriminalizing sex work, and over two-thirds of voters under 45 support decriminalization.

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After conducting research on sex work around the world, Human Rights Watch supports the full decriminalization of consensual adult sex work. UNAIDS, public health experts, sex worker organizations, and other human rights organizations have found that criminalization of sex work has a negative effect on sex workers’ right to health. Decriminalization provides protection for the rights of sex workers, including access to health care, the ability to report crimes to authorities, and the ability to work together to increase safety.

As the infographic below from the Lancet illustrates, myths and misconceptions can hinder HIV prevention efforts.

The Lancet: HIV and sex workers

To learn more about the growing movement to decriminalize sex work check out:

The New Majority Behind Sex Work Decriminalization

Sex Workers are an Important Part of the Stonewall Story, But Their Role Has Been Forgotten

Liberal Feminism Has a Sex Work Problem

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