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AID FOR AIDS Releases Study on Survival Sex in Migrant/Refugee Populations: Links to Newly Arrived Asylum Seekers in NYC

AID for AIDS Survival Sex Event in NYC 12/5

This is the perfect moment for us to share the results of our study with New York City and highlight the work we do with very vulnerable populations in South America”
— Jesus Aguais, President of AID for AIDS

NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES, November 29, 2022 / -- AID FOR AIDS International (AFA) is launching the results of their in-depth study focused on Survival Sex in Migrant and Refugee Populations on December 5th, 2022, at Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health, Hess Commons, 722 West 168th Street, New York City, from 2-4pm. The public, elected officials, policymakers and members of the press are cordially invited to join.

For the past two years, AFA has carried out thoughtful research on Venezuelan migrants and refugees in Colombia that engages in survival sex to get an in-depth understanding of their problems and develop specific programs to serve their needs.

“This is the perfect moment for us to share the results of our study with New York City and highlight the work we do with very vulnerable populations in South America”, stated Jesus Aguais, President of AFA. “The newly arrived migrants and asylum seekers that have been bussed to New York from Southern states are coming straight from South America. They are literally walking here - traversing the Darien jungle and the Rio Grande. We now have close to 30,000 new New Yorkers who have arrived in various states of precarity, most without a legal way to work. The city needs to recognize and understand the realities and complexities of this population so appropriate, targeted programs are put in place”.

The study on survival sex - the practice of having sex to cover basic needs - found that people fall into survival mode due to the lack of access to legal work and social opportunities. The population can include anyone - including heterosexual women, men and people from the LGBTIQ+ community. The study highlights the fact that people engaged in survival sex are invisible, with no access to prevention services, such as HIV tests, other STIs and/or access to condoms; adequate knowledge of forms of prevention; or access to treatment.

This population shows a high vulnerability to violence (including sexual violence, gender-based violence and xenophobia), sexually transmitted infections including HIV, recruitment by human trafficking rings, the consumption of psychoactive drugs and disappearances.

From this fieldwork, AFA obtained valuable qualitative information about the migrants and refugees’ life stories, their expectations, the reasons why they exercise these practices, how their rights have been violated, and the consequent emotional effects. In response, AFA has developed an urgent and comprehensive protection program targeting this population.

Jesus Aguais continues, “The purpose of our programs is to improve the quality of life of this population and provide them with empowerment tools that reduce the emotional, physical, and socioeconomic impact that comes with their reality. Ultimately, our programs focus on transforming people so they can rebuild their lives”.

About AID FOR AIDS International (AFA):

AID FOR AIDS International (AFA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to empowering communities at risk of HIV and the population at large, by developing their abilities and capacities for comprehensive prevention through access to treatment, advocacy, education, and training to improve their quality of life and reduce stigma and discrimination.

Alicia Molina
Aid for Life
email us here