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In the period from April to July 2022, the “Right Side” HRD NGO organized a series of meetings and discussions on the topic “Problems of sex workers living in the RA, sex work and sexual violence”.
The first meeting was aimed at helping 14 sex worker activists in attendance gain a comprehensive understanding of sex work, including the different sectors and ways, myths and prejudices, barriers, and best practices of sex work. During the meeting, the attendees spoke about their main issues, talked about trauma, stigma, violence, coercion, relationships, talked about their activism and shared different ideas for empowering sex workers.
The second meeting-discussion was attended by 12 sex workers identifying themselves as women who had experienced sexual violence at one point or another in their lives. The aim of the meeting was to psychologically support the violence survivors by assessing their needs and risks and promoting their social engagement. The meeting participants learned about the psychological traumas of sexual violence survivors and their family members and ways to overcome them, as well as gained knowledge to support others in similar cases. And because our work was evidence-based, we documented all the described cases during the meeting with the consent of the participants, so that the services provided by our NGO could be developed and adapted as much as possible to the needs of sex workers.
The third and fourth meetings were on the topic of “Specific features of treatment of sexually transmitted infections”. 21 sex workers participating in the discussions learned about sexually transmitted infections and the new methods of their treatment, which had undergone research and were based on the principles of evidence-based medicine. During the meeting, we talked about antibiotic resistance, which could cause serious health problems. During the discussions, asymptomatic sexually transmitted infections were given specific attention, which did not bother the patient, but could bring a number of unwanted consequences, causing additional difficulties in the management of those infections. The participants emphasized the worth of the discussions about sexual and reproductive health, emphasizing the necessity of the knowledge gained as a result of them in the matter of health care.
It should be noted that the series of meeting-discussions were carried out with the financial support of the Red Umbrella Fund.
July 16, 2022 Armenia, Yerevan