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Legalise working girls: another investigation by Bangladeshi sex workers in London

Part 3:

STDs can easily be caught from anyone who has regular sex with no regular partner, Anybody that has sex with random people needs to have regular health checks simply because there is no protection that is 100% protection from all STDs. A prostitute must always protect themselves when with clients and must have regular health checks at a GUM clinic to make sure they haven’t caught anything because of the shear number of people they come into close contact with. The cheaper a prostitute, the more people they will come in contact with and sadly the lower the legality of sex work in a community, the lower the emphasis on hygiene and health checks as these are not monitored. This simply means that health wise, its riskier to meet cheaper sex workers than high-class ones, some will even argue that its safer to sleep with a high-class prostitute than a random partner you could meet in a bar or club that does not know the seriousness of an STD or why you need a health check at a GUM clinic regularly if you are sexually active with random partners.

In 1986, the Victorian Labour government [Victoria, Australia] legalized brothels, claiming crime would be eliminated, sex workers lives would be made safer, and there would be fewer health risks, a further study was carried out in 1998 to show the difference in the transmission of STDs among sex workers as follows: “The prevalence of sexually transmitted bacterial infections was 80 times greater in 63 illegal street working girls than in 753 of their legal brothel counterparts....” Occupational health and safety law is only applied to hookers in lawful brothels but not to their illegal counterparts on the street, lots of sex workers work outside the law in Australia and this has implications for their health that are hard to quantify. (Nov. 18, 2000 - Bebe Loff, PhD , Elizabeth Gaze, LLM, Christopher Fairley, PhD).

Another study revealed that a legalised system of prostitution that mandates health checks and certification only for women and not for punters is blatantly discriminatory to women. Women only health checks do not protect them from HIV/AIDS or STDs from their customers since male clients can and do transmit diseases to the women. It is argued that legalized controlled prostitution establishments protect women through enforceable condom policies but its down to the individuals concerned to understand that its really about their own health…. In one of CATW's studies, women in prostitution interviewed reported the following: 47% stated that men expected sex without a condom; 73% reported that men offered to pay more for sex without a condom; 45% of women said they were abused if they insisted that men use condoms, some women said that certain establishments may have rules that men wear condoms but, in reality, men still try to have sex without them. One woman stated that it's regulation to wear a condom at the sauna, but negotiable between parties on the side." (2003 - Janice Raymond, PhD)

Health in prostitution is not only about the health of the prostitutes, anybody that has sex with multiple partners must understand that their health is at risk and must use protection and have regular checks at a GUM clinic.

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