Faculty Post: The Anti-Prostitution Loyalty Oath Undermines a Key Response to the HIV Epidemic

By Professor Aziza Ahmed

The Supreme Court recently heard arguments in U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) v. Alliance for Open Society Institute. At issue is a provision of the U.S. Leadership Act on HIV/AIDS, TB, and Malaria, which halts funding to organizations that promote or advocate the legalization or practice of prostitution or sex trafficking. To defund these critical public health organizations for their refusal to pledge allegiance to the misguided and dangerous U.S. government position on prostitution puts many lives at risk.

HIV continues to impact marginalized communities at alarming rates. Public health interventions focusing on sex workers create a safe and empowering space in which individuals can learn how to prevent the spread of HIV, receive life saving treatment, and take advantage of testing and counseling services. Continue reading