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21/08/2012 - El Salvador

Coalition for HIV Law

The organization Orquídeas del Mar is an active member of the Coalition that is working to amend the Law on HIV in El Salvador, towards ensuring the rights of PLWHA.

Representante de la Coalición expone cambios fundamentales a la actual Ley de VIH/SIDA

Currently the Law has certain gaps that the Coalition is trying to resolve through a great advocacy work. "One of the difficult issues that we see in the present legislation is confidentiality for sex workers so we are working to make our population is included as key populations to preserve the identity of our fellows in health care", said Haideé Lainez, president of Orquídeas del Mar and member of the Board of RedTraSex.

Sex workers’ rights are violated again and again. "Even though HIV testing pre-employment is prohibited according to current law, the places where sex workers go to work require medical examinations to them, and for the police, not having these examinations can be grounds for extortion", said the president of Orquídeas, adding: "We are looking for quality care and warmth for female sex workers living with HIV."

The Coalition comprises civil society organizations —as ICW, Pasmo, Anadas, Arcoiris and CEMUJER— from El Salvador. In the case of Orquídeas, the organization was invited to represent the voice of female sex workers thanks to the work the organization has been doing for over 5 years in HIV prevention in female sex workers.

The collective organization —the coalition— presented a first draft last June to CONASIDA (National Commission for the Prevention and Control of HIV/AIDS), who is the governing body of the National Response to HIV/AIDS. In the coming weeks, CONASIDA shall make a return with its comments so that the Coalition can make corrections on the document and present it to the Legislature.

"We are facing a strong advocacy work, because we should get together with all our political forces so that when the Legislature has the document, process it", Haydée explained.

Members of Orquídeas del Mar will continue their work, convinced that is a function of the State promoting universal access to health care as a right, rather than being a form of surveillance or control.