After months of hard work compiling data for the United Nations Development Programme our final report on the intersection of HIV/AIDs and sex trafficking was presented in Bali (see my previous post on this international conference). Reuters picked up the story and published it in its AlertNet section on Wednesday.
Trafficking is a public health concern and HIV/AIDs illustrates one of the major ways that trafficking may contribute to infectious disease spread rapidly throughout a population. Our study entitled, "Sex trafficking and STI/HIV in Southeast Asia: Connections between sexual exploitation, violence and sexual risk," looks at the relationship between sex trafficking and sexually transmitted infections (STI) and HIV in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand.
The Silverman lab at Harvard School of Public Health is currently working on more publications on the topic, with the hopes of disseminating our findings in influential (i.e. widely read) public health journals. We need to raise awareness about the horrific practices and trauma experienced by these women and girls, and we need to better understand how to prevent and protect women from trafficking of any kind.
For more on this topic check out the website of Not for Sale a great non-profit organizations committed to fighting human trafficking world wide.