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New project: Community Led and Based HIV Services - Key to Ending the HIV Epidemic in Europe and Central Asia
Pioneered in Sweden, where it became law in 1999, this model has now been adopted by six European countries (Norway 2009, Iceland 2009, Northern Ireland 2015, France 2016, Republic of Ireland 2017) and two other countries further afield (Canada 2014, Israel 2017).
The evidence against the Swedish Model approach has been damning. Sex workers have consistently reported that criminalising clients puts their health and wellbeing at greater risk, decreasing their power to negotiate boundaries, forcing them into isolation and experiencing higher rates of crime, including violent crime.
Moreover, as the factsheet explores in depth, claims on the benefits of the Swedish model by its proponents are not supported by the evidence. Sex workers are not decriminalised - a finding corroborated by an Amnesty International report on the situation in Ireland - and there have been rises in cases of human trafficking, with victims of this trade made even more vulnerable within a system of criminalisation.
According to the report, the introduction of the new criminal law expands beyond legal frameworks, given that the implementation of any legislation involves complex psychological, social, cultural, and geographical as well as demographic factors. The primary research questions that drove the design of the study were formulated to understand the impact that the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act from 2017 had on the quality of life of street sex workers. Therefore, the study asked:
- To what extent do sex workers in Ireland know the law and their rights?
- How do sex workers organise their working practices around the law?
How do people who use drugs receiving Opioid Medication Therapy perceive their treatment ? A multicentre study
The resurgence of heroin use and the misuse of pharmaceutical opioids are some of the reasons for a worldwide increase in opioid dependence. Opioid Medication Therapies (OMT) have amply demonstrated their efficacy. From a medical point of view, the main objectives of OMT concern medical and social outcomes, centred on risk reduction and the cessation of opioid use. But patient points of view can differ and few studies have explored opioid-dependent patient viewpoints on their OMT. This variable seems important to consider in a patient-centred approach. The aim of our study was to explore points of view of people who use drugs (PWUD) treated with OMT, in a large multicentre sample.