Infographic: The US’s anti-prostitution pledge is hindering the war on AIDS

The Nation has some interesting infographics on the effect of the US’s anti-prostitution pledge. The US provides nearly 60 percent of global funds to fight the AIDS epidemic–money that low-income countries absolutely depend on. But, as Melissa Gira Grant explains, for the last decade, it’s comes with the catch–pushed by conservative Rep. Chris Smith but supported by some feminist organizations too–that any NGO receiving this funding must adopt an explicit policy opposing prostitution. And the pledge is so vague that it’s led many groups to stop providing any services to sex workers, out of fear of losing their funding.

map of sex worker HIV rates globally

Click here for larger image.

This terrible policy–Lori’s called it “senseless discrimination“–not only harms sex workers, who are 13.5 times more likely to be living with HIV than other women, it greatly hinders the overall effort to stem the spread of the disease. “Prevention among all sex workers is key to stopping the AIDS epidemic for many countries, according to the World Health Organization.” Hopefully, the Supreme Court will soon strike it down.

St. Paul, MN

Maya Dusenbery is executive director in charge of editorial at Feministing. She is the author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick (HarperOne, March 2018). She has been a fellow at Mother Jones magazine and a columnist at Pacific Standard magazine. Her work has appeared in publications like,, Bitch Magazine, as well as the anthology The Feminist Utopia Project. Before become a full-time journalist, she worked at the National Institute for Reproductive Health. A Minnesota native, she received her B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. After living in Brooklyn, Oakland, and Atlanta, she is currently based in the Twin Cities.

Maya Dusenbery is an executive director of Feministing and author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm on sexism in medicine.

Read more about Maya

Join the Conversation