“Case?” “Suspect?” “Trafficking?” “Industry?” We’re reading guides on how to talk about TB, write about sex work

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NewWWREvery Word Counts – “One of the most effective tools against tuberculosis is education . . .” This guide to language and usage for tuberculosis communications from Stop TB Partnership is intended to both inform and stimulate discussion around how the disease is discussed, responded to, lived with and survived. With sections on technical language, conversational language, compassionate language and key terminology, it discusses the contexts of words that include “case,” “control,” “high burden” and “notification,” discussing why they are used and when they shouldn’t be.

Sex Workers and Sex Work in South Africa – Similarly, this guide for journalists and writers produced by Sonke Gender Justice, Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT), Sisonke Sex Workers Movement and Women’s Legal Centre, explores how to avoid making difficult circumstances worse simply by getting facts straight, keeping an open mind and following the golden rule. Sex workers lack legal protections where they are criminalized, and too often, this guide notes, those who could shed light on and address the abuses, vulnerabilities and barriers that result from that, instead add stigmatizing inaccuracies to the mix. The guide offers facts, perspectives, responsible wording, and tips for ethical and insightful ways to bridge the gaps between preconceptions and realities, in ways that could be useful to health providers and others communicating with, as well as about, people who earn income through sex.

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