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CSWs in Vaccine Trials

Posted by plosmedicine on 31 Mar 2009 at 00:10 GMT

Author: Ellen MacLachlan
Position: Clinical Trials Manager
Institution: HVTN
Submitted Date: July 24, 2007
Published Date: July 25, 2007
This comment was originally posted as a “Reader Response” on the publication date indicated above. All Reader Responses are now available as comments.

I am truly shocked at the short-sightedness of our leaders in the U.S. Government. From the perspective of those of us coordinating HIV vaccine trials in countries around the world, sex workers have been instrumental as volunteers for these trials in their altruistic desire to find a cure for their compatriots and future generations. Thousands of sex workers have volunteered for HIV vaccine trials despite the risks they face, both biological and social. In addition, the persistence of sex work is intimately tied to poverty, gender inequality and the scarcity of opportunities for young women. Clearly US leaders cannot see beyond the behavior to its root causes or consider more creative and noble approaches to its prevention or amelioration than a knee-jerk and cowardly injunction against prostitution.

No competing interests declared.