The Right(s) Evidence: Sex Work, Violence and HIV in Asia (A multi- country qualitative study)

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers, SANGRAM India


The objective of the study was to better understand female, male and transgender sex workers’ experiences of violence, the factors that increase or decrease their vulnerability to violence and how violence relates to risk of HIV transmission.

Type of Document:
Report from a research partnership of UN agencies, governments, sex worker community groups and academics. Research was carried out in Indonesia (Jakarta), Myanmar (Yangon), Nepal (Kathmandu) and Sri Lanka (Colombo). This regional report presents an analysis of the findings from the four country sites. The study comprised a total of 123 peer-to-peer in-depth qualitative interviews with 73 female, 20 male and 30 transgender sex workers aged 18 and older. In addition, 41 key informant interviews were conducted with police personnel, NGO officers, health and legal service providers and national AIDS authorities for insight on contextual information to aid with the analysis and shape the recommendations.

Audience Intended:
Broad use: Institutions, Researchers, Governments, NGOs and Advocacy Groups, Individuals.

Populations Experiencing Stigma and/or Discrimination:
Sex workers.

Stigma and/or Discrimination:
Both–not the overt focus of the report, but definitely reported.

Assess and/or Address:
Both – assessment component in work; current document contains recommendations.


In three of the four study sites, the participants reported experiencing discrimination and violence in health care settings by doctors, nurses and other staff, including in relation to actual or perceived HIV status. Interview guides used in the research are not included in the report.

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