PSI conducts interventions with sex workers in all of the regions in which we work. Often when seeking to understand target group needs through formative research, issues related to violence and safety emerge as key issues. However, these themes may be overlooked by research and program staff as being irrelevant or beyond the scope of intervention objectives when they should be considered essential components to create more audience-centered interventions.
The International HIV/AIDS Alliance has come out with a publication encouraging this basic principle. Broken into two sections: Understanding Violence in the Context of Sex Work and Tackling Violence Against Sex Workers, this new publication from the HIV/AIDS Alliance is an excellent new tool that can help us truly meet the needs of the populations with which we work. Meeting such needs can lead to better rapport and deeper levels of trust between representatives of the program and target group members, which can subsequently lead to higher quality IPC interactions. I encourage all platforms with sex worker-focused interventions to take a look at this publication and integrate the suggested approaches into program activities.