CARAM Asia Announces Day off for Migrant Domestic Workers KUALA LUMPUR, 10 Dec 2009: Coordination of Action Research on AIDS and Mobility (CARAM) Asia

Thursday, January 21, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR, 10 Dec 2009: Coordination of Action Research on AIDS and Mobility (CARAM) Asia is proud to announce that it is now launching two videos to enhance our ongoing online advertisement campaign for employers to sign petitions to give a weekly paid day off for migrant domestic workers.

The two videos will be blasted out in cyberspace through personal emails to individuals with links to the online petition created one month ago since the online advertisement campaign was launched in five different media outlets in Asia. These include Al Jazeera, Malaysiakini, The Standard, Prachatai and Online Citizen. These videos can be accessed at;

A simple click is all that is needed to grant a basic fundamental right to one of the most vulnerable groups of human beings today

CARAM Asia, a regional network of 34 NGOs and trade unions across 17 countries in Asia, has long called upon on all employers throughout the region, as important non-state actors, to recognise that the time has come to accord foreign domestic workers (FDWs) a weekly paid day off from work.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimated that there are more than a million women who engage in domestic work worldwide. There are over 300,000 MDWs in Malaysia, about 70,000 in Bahrain, and more than 200,000 respectively in Singapore, Thailand and Lebanon.

The statistics can cause alarm, as FDWs continue to lack adequate protection mechanisms, basic freedoms, long hours, minimal access to health or even in some cases a recognition of the work itself. In the past 5 months, three Indonesian migrant workers were tortured to death by their Malaysian employers. In Lebanon, at least 10 women have died, either by hanging themselves or by falling from tall buildings over the past two months, in desperation to escape. Rape and physical abuse of these migrants continues to be well documented by a number of different human rights groups including Human Rights Watch, yet many states have failed to take appropriate action to protect these workers.

A weekly paid day off for FDWs will not only prevent suicides, and gender based violence and torture, most importantly it will grant an opportunity for tortured MDWs to escape and report the abuse and/or exploitation by the employer.

Such a move by nation states will be in line with international law applicable to human and employment rights standards. 186 countries have adopted the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and as such have a responsibility to fulfill its responsibility to these terms. As such they would be duty bound to enforce General Comment 26 of the CEDAW Convention which acknowledges that domestic work should be protected by labour laws and entitled to holiday and vocation leave regulations. In Malaysia and many other countries throughout Asia and the Middle East, this still doesn’t remain the case.

Next year, the International Labour Organization (ILO) will start working on the process of adopting a new minimum labour standard for domestic workers that could possibly lead to a new specific Domestic Workers Convention. With the international community moving towards acknowledging the labour rights of domestic workers, we urge governments of host countries, to develop minimum standards of human rights for these workers, and strongly urge employers across the Asian continuum to move away from the slavery practice of binding workers to work without a day off.

CARAM Asia Attends COP15 Process to Warn of Impact on Mobile Populations

Monday, January 18, 2010

In the second half of 2009, an extensive research project was launched by the Information and Communications Officer (ICO), investigating the linkages between climate change and the impact on migrants and mobile populations.

Following a serious of presentations to the secretariat, Board of Directors (BoD) and members, and the completion of a detailed paper, it was decided that the ICO would attend COP15 and sideline NGO events namely, the Peoples’ Assembly on Climate Change. Due to the research conducted, CARAM Asia was invited to attend and act as a speaker during one of the sessions at the People’s Assembly in order to address some of its research findings and to provide a summarisation of the link between migrants and refugees and the way we should aim towards in the future.

In preparation for attending the Peoples’ Assembly and to increase awareness about research findings, the paper entitled ‘Climate Change and the Impact on Migrants and Mobile Populations’ was sent out to the various international institutions and applicable civil society bodies including International Organisation for Migration (IOM), Greenpeace, Oxfam, Human Rights Watch, World Bank, International Monetary fund and groups.

The paper was also sent to various governmental institutions such as the applicable bodies within ASEAN, SAARC and all of the environmental governmental bodies within national governments within the purview of CARAM Asia’s membership spectrum.

To summarise, CARAM Asia’s objective in attending COP15/People’s Assembly was to;
• Raise awareness about our network research findings and the impact on migrants and mobile populations
• Build profile of the CARAM Asia in this area
• Seek to establish links with other organisations working in the area that could have a common link in tackling climate change
• Increase capacity of ICO and in turn membership in regards to this subject arena and to map out activities that could be set in the future

ICO achieved all of the aforementioned objectives for the conference which served as an overall success. CARAM Asia’s research was well received and distributed and the network was a signatory to the declaration. Further CARAM Asia will seek to work with the group VOICE to work together on a newly launched campaign aiming at raising awareness through a variety of means of media and other activities. ICO was also interviewed in a Chicago indie paper called In These Times to discuss the implication of climate change on migrants. CARAM Asia is now included in a number of NGO mailing networks to discuss the future and how the civil society movement should move forward in tackling the issue of displacement and climate.

Climate change has been categorically and systematically proven to have a detrimental effect on populations especially in Asia leading to the forced displacement and migration of millions. As an emerging issue, CARAM Asia will seek to take the opportunity to stand at the forefront of this debate, placing the voice of migrants at the heart of the process.

Indonesia Emphasises Management Mechanism In MoU On Migrant Workers

Thursday, January 14, 2010

JAKARTA, Jan 8 (Bernama) -- Indonesia is giving importance to a management mechanism in the memorandum of understanding (MoU) it is working out with Malaysia on the matter of its migrant workers, Indonesian Foreign Minister Dr Marty Natalegawa said here on Friday.

"We are now working with the Malaysian government towards an MoU that relates to the responsibilities and rights of Indonesian workers," he said, adding that the mindset from the Indonesian perspective was very much in terms of a mutually beneficial type of engagement.

"We need to have a paradigm shift, that is more win-win and less confrontational, and I think we are working on that. Hopefully, we will have this MoU agreed on sooner rather than later.

"It is of mutual interest to have a proper mechanism so that whatever moratorium that we have been having can be lifted as soon as we have the mechanism in place," he told reporters after delivering his annual press briefing at his ministry, here.

Indonesia stopped sending its workers to Malaysia , particularly those to be employed in the informal sector, in June last year, following several incidents of maltreatment of Indonesian domestic maids in Malaysia .

Marty said officials from both countries were discussing matters related to workers' minimum pay and leave, their right to carry identification papers and the responsibility of the host country to inform the Indonesian embassy should an Indonesian national face any difficulty.

The minister said Indonesian workers made a significant contribution to Malaysia 's economy and development and, at the same time, Malaysia had become a source of income for them.

Earlier, in his briefing, Marty said that in 2010, Indonesia would continue to invest heavily in its multilateral diplomacy and would be at the forefront in promoting the role of the United Nations in tackling global crises and at the same time in calling for its reform.

"Our foreign policy will consistently project Indonesia as part of the solution to various global challenges, of a country keen to accentuate the overlapping of interests and concerns rather than competing interests and concerns," he said.

It would also, among other things, continue to consistently support the Palestinian cause and the peace process aimed at realising an independent Palestinian state.

By Ahmad Fuad Yahya

On the evolution towards an Asean Community, Marty said Indonesia believed that there could not be an East Asian or an Asia Pacific community without an Asean Community as its core constituent.

"Thus the Asean Community, the various Asean plus processes, the ARF (Asean Regional Forum), Apec (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) and East Asia Summit community, with Asean playing the central role. This is a vision that will continue to guide us in 2010," he said.

He also said that in keeping with the tagline "One Thousand Friends, Zero Enemies", Indonesia 's foreign policy would actively seek to raise to a higher level existing ties with countries in all corners of the globe, promote positive political and people-to-people relations as well as renew and focus on efforts to promote economic diplomacy.

) IOM Resettles over 74,000 Refugees From Thailand Since 2004

Thailand - IOM resettled over 17,000 refugees from Thailand in 2009, bringing the total number of refugees moved from the country's refugee camps to new homes abroad to over 74,000 since 2004.

The majority of the refugees – over 57,000 or nearly 80% – came from Myanmar , and belonged to the Karen and Karenni ethnic groups. A further 15,000 were ethnic Hmong from the Lao PDR.

Over 80% of the 74,000 were resettled in the USA, with the remainder accepted by Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

In 2009 6,800 or nearly 40% of the refugees resettled by IOM Thailand came from Ban Mae Nai Soi – a jungle camp located in the remote north west of the country in Mae Hong Son province. A further 3,400 came from Mae La camp, 300kms to the south in Tak province.

The remainder were resettled from seven other remote border camps located close to Thailand 's mountainous jungle border with Myanmar . All but about 300 of the 17,074 refugees moved by IOM Thailand in 2009 came from Myanmar.

IOM provides pre-departure health screening for refugees at the request of resettlement countries, including chest x-rays to check for tuberculosis and other contagious diseases. If a refugee is found to be suffering from a contagious disease, IOM provides treatment until they are fit to travel.

When the refugees are cleared to depart, IOM transports them by bus from the camps to Bangkok 's Suvarnabhumi airport and arranges their onward travel on commercial flights to their final destinations in resettlement countries.

IOM's 35-year history of refugee resettlement from Thailand began in 1975 in the aftermath of the Vietnam war, when it helped nearly half a million Indochinese refugees from Vietnam , Laos and Cambodia to leave the country and start new lives abroad. It works closely with the Royal Thai government, UNHCR and the governments of resettlement countries.

Federation of American Scientists Newsletter: A MILITARY GUIDE TO NONGOVERNMENTAL RELIEF ORGS

By Steven Aftergood, January 14th 2010
In an effort to promote cooperation with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) engaged in humanitarian relief operations and to enhance its own emergency response capabilities, the Department of Defense has published a newly updated "Guide to Nongovernmental Organizations for the Military" (pdf).

When a devastating earthquake struck Haiti yesterday, several disaster relief organizations such as Oxfam and Doctors Without Borders were already in place and functioning. Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for U.S. Southern Command told the Washington Post that "the military was just beginning to assess what resources it has in the region and ... said no official request for help had reached the U.S. military." (That now seems to have changed, and a U.S. government response team is expected to arrive in Haiti today, according to the Associated Press.)

In fact, when it comes to disaster relief, NGOs and the military each have comparative strengths and weaknesses. NGOs have greater flexibility, efficiency and responsiveness, are not hampered by the regulatory constraints that limit military operations, and are perceived as politically neutral. "With staff members immersed in local populations, NGOs can absorb information faster than militaries can, often because militaries are isolated by force protection requirements," the DoD Guide acknowledges.

On the other hand, military forces are far superior in their logistical and communications capabilities, and when necessary can bring force to bear to establish secure zones. Also, "militaries can provide extensive intelligence information about population movements, security conditions, road, river, and bridge conditions, and other information pertinent to conducting humanitarian operations."

And, the DoD Guide says, "Militaries can respond to maritime and/or chemical, biological radiological, nuclear and high yield explosives (CBRNE) emergencies. NGOs have almost no capacity."

"When working within a humanitarian emergency, it often appears that the military and NGOs speak different languages and have widely varying and potentially incompatible missions, capacities, and knowledge," the Guide concludes. "This is not necessarily true, and opinions are changing on both sides."

The 363-page DoD Guide presents a fairly comprehensive introduction to the structure, functions and characteristic activities of non-governmental relief organizations.

"The guide book answers a need which is increasingly recognized in the military, to be able to work alongside NGOs and others who have experience and networks in the field," Dr. Warner Anderson of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs) told Secrecy News.

The author, Dr. Lynn Lawry of the Center for Disaster and Humanitarian Assistance Medicine, is herself an NGO worker and researcher, with relief experience in Iraq , Afghanistan , Liberia , Rwanda , Congo and other areas of conflict. The "Guide to Nongovernmental Organizations for the Military," dated Summer 2009, was recently made public. A copy is available on the Federation of American Scientists website.

Relief organizations accepting donations to provide assistance to earthquake survivors in Haiti include the Red Cross, Mercy Corps International, American Jewish World Service, and Catholic Relief Services.

Free-trade Pacts Ignore Labor

Written by Estrella Torres, Tuesday, 12 January 2010
THE critical shortage of professional and skilled workers in several member-countries of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) is not being filled because of at least three main factors that restrict worker movement within the Pacific Rim economic grouping.

A study commissioned by the Apec Business Advisory Council (Abac) of the 21-member group showed the United States needing 500,000 nurses by 2025, Japan 500,000 by 2014, and Canada 113,000 nurses by 2014.

It also cited the immediate need for some 36 million skilled workers in the US and Canada , and 25 million workers needed in Russia .
The study said the three key hurdles to free movement of workers within the Apec include restrictive border security policies in rich member-economies, lack of training infrastructure in developing countries and high cost of worker placement fees.
On the high cost of placement fees imposed by recruitment agencies in sending countries like the Philippines, leading recruiters at the Apec forum where the study was discussed rejected sole blame for the high fees on the ground that agreements forged with hosting countries adopted the restrictive policies of these countries, and this included the high placement fees.
Former foreign affairs secretary Roberto Romulo, Philippine representative to the Abac, said rich economies like the US are “reluctant to take up these issues.” He added that even the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement remains a restrictive treaty due to strict requirements for Filipino nurses to undergo a two-year language training before they could quality for jobs in Japan .
But a group of recruitment agencies present at the forum on “Global Demand for Labor” at the Asian Institute of Management in Makati insisted also the high cost of placement fees are based on the restrictive policies of rich countries. Such are followed by the Philippines , for example, according to Lito Soriano of LBS Recruitment Solutions.

He said these issues should be placed in the free-trade agreements (FTAs) and memorandum of understanding to facilitate effective labor mobility and discourage the proliferation of recruitment agencies imposing high costs on workers.
“The responsibility should be in the hands of the receiving countries and not so much from the sending countries,” said Soriano.

He also said the Philippines , even being the world’s third-largest source of migrant workers, has not been able to fill in the employment needs in developed countries due to the lack of qualified workers and the absence of training infrastructure that would allow workers to qualify for technical jobs abroad.
Soriano said in the last eight years, the Philippines has not been able to send out new batches of seamen for lack of training facilities to prepare new college graduates to qualify for jobs abroad.
He said the Philippines supplies more than 20 percent of seamen in international passenger and cargo vessels. But since 2001, these Filipino seafarers are still the same people who were just renewing their contracts, he added.
“Contrary to the claims that we are increasing the numbers of Filipino workers being deployed abroad, in reality, there is no adequate Filipino workers to fill up the employment needs overseas,” said Soriano.

He said there are 200,000 licensed Filipino nurses and the demand from the US last year was more than 10,000. However, he said only 288 Filipino nurses have been deployed last year.

He also cautioned the Philippines in signing free-trade agreements with developed countries because he believes they will only result in further job losses for local workers, pointing to the China-Association of Southeast Asian Nations Free-Trade Agreement as example, where 7,000 products had their tariffs eliminated, exposing local industries to stiff competition at a time when they are still not prepared adequately.

The Abac study also noted that temporary worker labor policies within Apec remains uneven and patchy and that FTAs focus principally on the movement of business people and neglected the movement of the skilled and unskilled workers.
The study said of the 42 FTAs signed by Apec member economies, 10 of them have no chapter on labor mobility. It added that although 28 of these FTAs contain provisions on the movement of business or natural persons, only seven of them have labor chapters.

Apec includes Australia , Brunei , Canada , Chile , China , Hong Kong-China , Indonesia , Japan , South Korea , Malaysia , Mexico , New Zealand , Papua New Guinea , Peru , Philippines , Russia , Singapore , Taiwan , United States and Vietnam .

Advocates against HIV

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sunday, 03 January 2010 00:00

In a public health clinic in Manila where one can get tested for sexually transmitted diseases including HIV, there is a poster that reads: “This is what someone who can be infected by HIV looks like.” Under this sign is a mirror.

It is a simple but accurate reminder that anyone can be infected by Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), which causes Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). According to global statistics published in December 2009 by the Joint UN Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), since the beginning of the epidemic, almost 60 million people have been infected with HIV and 25 million people have died of HIV-related causes.

According to the AIDS Accountability International Foundation, a global study called “The Scorecard on Women” found that AIDS is now the leading cause of death among women of reproductive age.

The Philippines is still considered a low incidence country with an estimated number of HIV cases amounting to 4,218 registered with the Department of Health’s Philippine HIV and AIDS Registry, as of October 2009.

The numbers may be considered small, and it is easy to continue thinking that HIV/ AIDS happens only in other countries.

But to these advocates whose photos appear here, HIV has a face, albeit in many forms: stigma, discrimination, and sometimes, theirs if they are living with HIV, or that of someone they love who has succumbed to AIDS.

Wearing nothing but the AIDS ribbon, the universally recognized icon of support and empathy for the cause, these advocates have boldly come out to share their personal stories about how they have come face to face with HIV.

They are not professional models. It is their courage—and not any benchmark of physical beauty—that makes them deserving of pictures. And it is their actual life experiences with HIV that has revealed their courage. These men and women know what they are talking about.

The right to live free from stigma and discrimination
It was a year ago when Wanggo Gallaga appeared on national television and disclosed his HIV status. Until now, Gallaga says he continues to get a lot of questions on his social networking site. “Some people even seem to have opened an account just to ask me things like: I had unprotected sex and now I’m beginning to feel sick. Is that how you felt?” he says.

Such questions underscore the need for better access to information on HIV/AIDS, which Gallaga hopes to help address by sharing his own experience with as many people as possible.

“Often times, I am introduced to people and when they hear my name, they tell me they know who I am and that they are proud of what I did. It still amazes me how what I’ve done has affected people. But the best support I get is the fact that I am not treated any differently. I have not been given special treatment and must carry my own weight as before.”

Most important to Gallaga is the difference that personally knowing someone living with HIV makes in others.

“People have told me that my disclosure has helped them realize that it can happen to anyone and that if they have the same lifestyle as I used to have, they are at risk. Some people have told me that they have begun to take better precautions while others have found the courage to take the test. I’ve spoken to a few people who are living with the disease and have started to open up about their condition to close friends and family. To stop living with the secret—I think that’s important as well.”

The right to be free from discrimination at work
It was in Dubai when Jericho Paterno first found out that he was HIV positive. It was a surprise and an unfortunate turn of events for Paterno who dreamt of working abroad to give his family a better life.

“I took the HIV test as part of a preemployment requirement. I was surprised to find that I tested positive. I had never shown signs of being sick,” he recalls. There was little time for Paterno to get over his initial shock, he was immediately quarantined and deported back to the Philippines.

“I was frightened. I knew very little about HIV, and confused it with AIDS. I thought I didn’t have long to live.”

The Coordination of Action Research on AIDS and Mobility (CARAM Asia), a regional nongovernment organization that works on health issues, calls the policy and practice of mandatory testing for migrant workers “discriminatory, dehumanizing and violates migrants’ rights.”

Paterno himself has played an active role in advocating migrant workers’ rights as a member of Pinoy Plus. Paterno has been invited to various international HIV/AIDS conferences in Switzerland and Indonesia to speak about his experience.

“Mandatory testing is just one of the forms of discrimination people living with HIV/AIDS face, there are many others,” opines Paterno.

The right to be responsible for your actions
Carlos Celdran’s youth was marked by living a carefree life in New York City, which he discloses included a bi-sexual lifestyle.

“I was living and working in New York in the 1990s. Back then when you met someone at a bar, the line of questioning was always: ‘What’s your name? What do you do? Where do you live? And are you HIV positive?’ We might have been bit promiscuous, but always careful and used condoms.”

Celdran continues, “There are a lot of advancements that have been made in the field of HIV/AIDS in the last decade, and it’s true that the infection is no longer a death sentence, but it’s not something to be taken lightly either. There are a lot of young people now who don’t protect themselves because they are ignorant or complacent.”

“Don’t be ignorant about HIV; not only to protect yourself, but also the ones around you. HIV affects everyone you love and who love you back.”

The right to voluntary testing and counseling
In 2005, a friend of Romina Nanagas had an “AIDS scare.” He asked her to go with him to get tested.

Being at a STD testing center was not at all what Nanagas thought it would be. “I was really scared. I had this image of the staff immediately judging us as ‘dirty’ or promiscuous, but they were very gentle when they talked to us about our lifestyle choices. They gave us brochures and told us to think about it [getting test] first.”

The professionalism and sensitivity of the counseling made testing and subsequently waiting for the results easier. Nanagas and her friend were relieved to find that he was negative.

Looking back at this experience, Nanagas says, “My friend regularly gets tested now just to be safe. He’s a lot more careful and more knowledgeable. I admire my friend’s bravery in openly telling others, ‘Yes, I got tested for AIDS and you should do the same.’”

In relation to her own life, Nanagas explains, “I’m in PR [public relations]—a business of changing perceptions and building images. HIV/AIDS is a cause where right now, a change of perception about something like getting tested may be life-saving. There’s a misconceptions that HIV/AIDS is a ‘gay disease.’ It’s these misconceptions that make straight people think they don’t need to get tested.”

The right to be free of judgment
Having lived in the US for most of his life, Vince Golangco was certainly exposed to and knowledgeable about messages on HIV/AIDS prevention. “But I did not know anyone who’s living with HIV or AIDS.”

That changed in 2006 when a friend suddenly confided that he had just been diagnosed as HIV positive.
“I was really caught off-guard because there was nothing to indicate that my friend was even sick.”

Despite the knowledge that he had about HIV/AIDS, Golangco realized that there was one thing that he did not know: “What do you say when someone you care about tells you they’re HIV positive?”

And even more dumb-founding for Vince was what not to say. “I wanted to ask, “What now?” and “How serious is it? Or “How much longer do you have?” In the end, Vince decided to just listen and be nonjudgmental because “it seemed to me that he really needed someone to talk to.”

When asked if he was afraid that his being in the photo shoot would create doubts about his sexual orientation, he answered, “No. If people see my picture here and judge then may be they should reeducate themselves on HIV/AIDS, too. It can affect anyone. And I’d like to think I’m doing this for my friend. Doing this will show him that he has my support even from here.”

The right to adequate health support and services
When AJ came back to Manila after a year overseas, the last thing he expected was to receive an e-mail requesting financial assistance to defray his friend’s hospital expenses.

AJ says, “Vin was healthy, a tri-athlete even. I didn’t ask questions. Vin was my friend. I didn’t need to know all the details in order to help.”

“Once when talking to another friend, she said, ‘It is really so difficult when it is AIDS’—pertaining to Vin’s physical pain. I was shocked. Until then, I had no idea what Vin was sick of.”

“When Vin was gone, many questions went through my mind: When did he know he was sick? Were there times when he needed someone to talk to? When was the last time that I saw him and what did we talk about? Did I get to tell him everything I should have said? Because now, I can’t.”

“Vin was the first person with HIV/AIDS I knew who has passed on. I have never before posed publicly for the cameras, but I am doing this now, in memory of a dear friend’s life that was short, but well-lived.”

The right to sexual orientation and gender
Every year, the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender) community takes to the streets for Pride March for two reasons: to continue rallying for their human rights of and to celebrate LGBT life and culture.

Dee, co-founder of the Society of Transsexual Women of the Philippines (STRAP), talks about the reason why she walks in Pride marches. “When I first started to manifest my real gender expression, I was fired from my job and in my desperation to find another I applied for those that were way below my qualifications.”

Her academic credentials and professional experience as a manager were overshadowed by the disparity between the gender on her birth certificate and the gender she chose to express. Lucky for Dee, she found an equal opportunity employer whom she has been with for the last six years. “Society stereotypes us as entertainers, salon personnel, comediennes or prostitutes. There is nothing wrong with these professions,” Dee says, “I just dream of a different one, like everyone else.”

Naomi concurs with this, “When you decide to change something that people think is fundamentally immutable, like gender, you trouble their sense of certainty and stability. Quietly or blatantly, they will resent you for it; or worse they will punish you for it. It is this policing and punishing because of gender expression that marginalizes people like me. Years of discrimination impair our sense of self-worth and many of us agree to this convenient arrangement—us in the margins, the rest of society living a good life.”

Queersilver speaks about the discrimination she faces and which she, as a member of Lesbian Advocates of the Philippines, fights. “We lesbians are a double minority—we’re women and we’re lesbians,” says Queersilver, who stresses that this is the one reason why lesbians are often overlooked when it comes to HIV/AIDS intervention programs. “The WSW [Women who have Sex with Women] may be a low [HIV] incidence group, but we nonetheless should have access to adequate and proper information about how to protect ourselves.”