Expert consultation meeting: sex workers and public health
The aims of the first ECDC expert consultation meeting on sex workers were to agree on the main areas of public health action in the European Union and to discuss the best possible way to summarise the evidence for policy-makers to tackle these needs
Meeting participants were asked to provide input on the direction and priorities that ECDC should be working on in this area.
Main outcomes and conclusions
The meeting participants agreed on the following three topical areas for future action:
- the need for better data, including community based studies and grey literature, in order to provide evidence-based recommendations;
- gathering of evidence regarding access to health services, potential barriers and needs for sex worker-friendly services;
- a legal review and mapping of policy and actual practice of the laws across Europe regarding sex work including an analysis of the impact of criminalisation on health and HIV/STI prevention.
Sex workers are a key population at increased risk of sexually transmitted infections (STI), HIV and hepatitis B due to unsafe working conditions, inconsistent condom use, unequal access to appropriate health services and an increased number of partners.
The full meeting report is available on request at STIHIVHEP@ecdc.europa.eu
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