Anti-Prostitution Pledge

U.S. policy requires all organizations that receive HIV/AIDS funding to explicitly oppose prostitution.  Requiring organizations to adopt policies like an anti-prostitution pledge makes it extremely difficult to establish trust necessary to provide services to these hard-to-reach men and women in prostitution, further driving them underground and away from life-saving services for themselves as well as others.  Moreover, increasing condom use among sex workers requires direct engagement, training, demonstrations of correct use, training on negotiating with clients, and collective action among sex workers, all of which could potentially be considered under the policy as “promoting prostitution.”

In the field, the policy has not resulted in a single documented positive result.  To the contrary, advocates have documented numerous examples of the harmful effects of the pledge, which can endanger the lives of sex workers, their clients, and their families.  While some organizations sign the pledge and continue with their work as before, others have ended or curtailed their work with sex workers to avoid potential problems. 

Additional resources:

Source$15 billionLaunched in 2003 by President George W. Bush, PEPFAR pledged $15 billion over 5 years to combat global HIV/AIDS.

Source$48 billionPEPFAR was reauthorized on July 30, 2008 and authorized $48 billion through fiscal year 2013.

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