I'm writing in response to the article "AIDS education to rely on police" (May 8, 2009). Sex workers face a very critical situation, with problems spanning many years that include social stigma, discrimination and violence from individuals and society.
Preventing HIV infection is everyone's job and requires everyone's involvement. It would be a good idea to involve police to work in HIV-prevention programmes as real partners with sex workers, not as bosses.
Based on my own understanding, sex workers are the best people to work on HIV prevention and anti-human trafficking programmes, as the success of sex workers in India who run HIV prevention campaigns has demonstrated.
Empowering sex workers is to give them choices and to treat them with the respect human beings deserve.
If we don't eliminate the moral stigma and judgments about sex workers, we will never be able to work actively with them, and they will never be truly visible.
Womyn's Agenda for Change