Project BORDERNETwork 2008-2009


3.2. HIV/STI Prevention among special target groups Sex workers



Examples from practice: 




Model region V (Ukraine)




A specially equipped by the GAFT mobile ambulatory (“the yellow bus”) is used by the team of SALUS Foundation since 2009 for outreach work and HIV-testing, delivery of medical, counseling and psychological services, as well as informational support to sex workers and Injecting Drug User (IDUs).
The mobile ambulatory has special routes in city Lviv and Lviv vicinity – 5 days per week. Driving according to time table ambulatory staff every day provides outreach work, improving access of vulnerable groups to HIV testing, medico-social services and information. Leaflets printed in frame of BORDERNETwork project are distributed to the clients.





Model region VI (Estonia)




  • Within the framework of preparation for the campaign on-site meetings took place with the city administration, police and facilities of the health care system. Contacts were recorded at the border and interviews with prostitutes and travelers were conducted. 724 truck drivers were contacted and 212 of them participated in the small study. The nationalities of the drivers vary a lot (Estonian, Russian, Ukrainian, Swedish, Belarusian, Norwegian and Latvian) as well as the mobility patterns. The test persons crossed the Estonian-Russian border several times per month; the waiting time at the frontier varies every time between 3 and 15 days. 650 HIV / STI test coupons were distributed among the truck drivers. Over the next two months, 264 people turned to the two medical facilities recommended for HIV testing and STI diagnostics.
  • 27 prostitutes were contacted, 24 of them were interviewed, and all women came from the border region Ida Viruuma (15 from the city of Narva). A large part of the prostitutes also worked in the sex scene in the capital Tallinn, and some of them furthermore worked abroad. A total of 56 HIV / STI test coupons had been distributed to prostitutes. 32 people have made 65 visits for testing and diagnostics in the next two months.




Model region VII (Bulgaria/ Rumania/ Moldava) 




In June 2008 a Peer-education training took place in Sofia. The aims of the training were:


  • Acquirement of knowledge about the STIs’ symptoms, treatment and prevention
  • Augmentation of the competences about the HIV/AIDS symptoms and prevention
  • Acquirement of stable knowledge about the intimate hygiene
  • Discussion of safer sexual practices and exchange of experience between the participants in terms of safety during the work
  • Development of skills for spreading the personal experience and acquired knowledge 






SPI Research organised in cooperation with DAH, HYDRA and Experts from local public health offices an Expert Workshop on the subject of “Sex Workers from the new EU-Member States in Germany“. The meeting was held from 22nd to 24th October 2009 and it was organised in the framework of BORDERNETwork.
The aim of the workshop was to bring forward the international exchange of experience, to inform about the judicial, social and health care framework and the work conditions in the sex industry in both countries of origin and destination (primarily Germany) and to create networks bridging prevention, social work, diagnostic and treatment professionals between Germany and the new EU-countries. Here you can find more information about the workshop.