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Better late than never, and just in time for World AIDS Day:
A week-long photographic recap of our work in Vienna, Austria!
Check back every day for the next 7 days to view photo stories of how my team and I spent our summer surrounding AIDS 2010.

Condomize Condom Packet

Condomize Condom Packet

Throughout May, June and July 2010 our team slowly gathered in Vienna from Canada, China, Ethiopia, Mexico and The United States

Aer Lingus

Aer Lingus

We got to work immediately with local artists to build the Condomize creative materials and a series of culturally-specific male condom 3D animations in the 6 United Nations languages.

Ulrich and Adrian

Ulrich and Adrian

Caro and Mascha

Caro and Mascha

Homosexuelle Initiative Wien (HOSI) generously rented space to us… and all of our *stuff*

As the shipments continued to roll in through customs, we were fortunate to find amazing local volunteers to help us prepare everything for AIDS 2010…

Nardos from Ethiopia, taking a break to eat his first McDonald's

Nardos from Ethiopia, taking a break to eat his first McDonald's

Adrian, Franck, Sophie and Nardos - trying on our Condom Couture courtesy of Guillin Latex in China

Adrian, Franck, Sophie and Nardos - trying on our Condom Couture courtesy of Guillin Latex in China

Unpacked Red Ribbons with golden condoms attached...

Unpacked Red Ribbons with golden condoms attached...

Check back tomorrow for a look at our neighborhood and initial work at Messe Wien in Part 2 of my week-long photographic recap of our work in Vienna, Austria…

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Over lunch in Vienna last week, a colleague told me that “Here, sex work is half legal.” He went on to explain, that though “the world’s oldest profession” is tolerated in their city, sex workers there have many obligations but still no rights.

It is mandatory that sex workers in Vienna register with the government, pay taxes on their earnings and be subject to weekly medical examinations; yet they are discriminated against by the authorities, have no unions to ensure their physical safety or guarantee payment from their clients and their required examinations make them only eligible for free HIV testing – they can be tested for other STIs only at a steep personal expense. It has become a saying that, in Vienna, “Sex workers have lust for their rights.”

There are currently over 2,000 registered sex workers in Vienna, and only 3 doctors in the city that will see them for their weekly appointments. That is nearly 700 patients per doctor each week – 100 patients per day if those doctors do not take a single day off.

Of the 2,000 legally registered sex workers, only 17 are male – and one of these men is not actually a sex worker. He is a staff member at the Sex Worker Forum and registered with the government out of solidarity with the population he serves. The Sex Worker Forum is a Vienna-based website that contains more than 77,000 articles, information, discussions, links, tips and resources on sex work, for professional sex workers.

I am back in New York now, thinking of all of you in Vienna. I hope that this International Sex Worker Rights Day has found you closer to the rights you so “lust after” and deserve.

Check back soon for the new-and-improved Safer Sexy Tidbits section of the blog, as well as news from my first contributions as a guest blogger to Sex and Sensibilities, a Filipina site that offers a balance of sex and responsible choice for women worldwide 🙂

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