The fifteenth International Aids Conference was held in Bangkok in July 2004. Around 20,000 delegates attended the conference. The Thai Prime Minister and the Secretary-General of the United Nations both gave speeches at the opening ceremony.
APNSW hosted a “go-go bar” at the event, where performances and demonstrations about HIV prevention took place. APNSW also hosted a session where members taught conference delegates “Information Education Communication” (IEC) production skills. This session was based on APNSW’s experience developing the cross-cultural “Making Sex Work Safe” training materials.
Paulo Longo, co-ordinator of the International Network of Sex Work Projects and co-author of the English and Spanish versions of “Making Sex Work Safe” said: “APNSW has developed a lot through this cultural approach to Making Sex Work Safe. It is the more impressive because of the many languages here. I hope what people see at this conference convinces them to invest in sex workers to use some of this technique in other regions too.”
As a result of their activities around the conference, Empower Foundation reported a significant and positive shift in Thai public opinion towards sex workers.