Hour 9: No one left behind

HIV affects different communities in different ways, and some communities are more vulnerable because of social factors that affect health, such as poverty, gender inequality and marginalisation. If national and global efforts are to make lasting progress in response to HIV, they must be tailored to the needs of each community and transform these social factors. Real success in the context of HIV means meeting the needs of diverse people and different key affected population groups. National and global efforts must ensure that no one is left behind.

Glen Dalton speaks with Janelle Fawkes and Cameron Cox from Scarlet Alliance, the Australian Sex Workers Association. Janelle brings her first-hand knowledge of the industry in Australia and discusses the concerns of sex workers throughout the Asia-Pacific region. She believes peer-based community organisations that are well resourced remain the best form of prevention.

Then Dean Beck chats to Nomonde Mihlali Meji (Mickey), a leading sex-worker-rights advocate from South Africa. Mickey recently conducted research into the attitudes of sex workers towards the use of post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and the complexities of implementing such programs with key populations. Legislative, social and medical frameworks are needed if sex workers are to receive the health benefits that treatment as prevention can deliver.

Cameron reinforces the need for government funding and political will to resource and support the great preventive work being done by peer-based organisations. The phrase ‘Nothing about us without us’ is an essential basis for keeping sex workers at the table when governments are creating legal frameworks, policies and guidelines. Ahead of AIDS 2014, Janelle explains that the evidence-based best practice for sex workers to negotiate safe sex, and for their human rights to be protected under occupational health and safety frameworks, is for the industry to be decriminalised.


Janelle Fawkes
CEO, Scarlet Alliance
Cameron Cox
Men’s spokesperson, Scarlet Alliance
Nomonde Mihlali Meji
Sex worker and human rights advocate

Hosted by Glen Dalton and Dean Beck

Watch the video above or listen to the audio below: