Sex work and South Africa’s health system: Addressing the needs of the underserved
Scheibe, A., Richter, M. and Vearey, J. (2016) Sex work and South Africa’s health system: Addressing the needs of the underserved South African Health Review 19 165-178. [OPEN ACCESS].
Sex work remains illegal and highly stigmatised in South Africa, resulting in sex workers – the majority of whom are internal or cross-border migrants – experiencing ongoing human rights violations and a high HIV burden. High levels of unemployment, limited socio-economic opportunities and associated migration dynamics mean that sex work remains a key livelihood option for many cisgender and transgender women and men in sub-Saharan Africa.
This chapter reviews the health system’s response to sex work in South Africa, with a focus on HIV-related programmes. The analysis is based on the World Health Organization’s health system ‘building blocks’ framework and is informed by a policy scan, literature review, consultation with sex work experts, and reflection.
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