Salt Lake Tribune Examines Enforcement of Utah Law Requiring Mandatory HIV Tests for Convicted Sex Workers, Solicitors
April 30, 2008
A review of Utah court records and procedures has found inconsistencies in the enforcement of a state law that requires convicted commercial sex workers and solicitors of commercial sex to be tested for HIV, the Salt Lake Tribune reports. The state is one of six in the U.S. in which penalties for the two offenses increase if the convicted person previously tested positive for HIV, according to a 2002 CDC-funded study.
Beltran estimates that solicitation cases are responsible for about one-fifth to one-fourth of newly recorded HIV cases in recent years. She added that ultimately, such prosecutions are effective not because they deter offenders who might be HIV-positive, but because the law requires HIV counseling and drug treatment for felony convictions. Gill noted that the cost of treating those found to be HIV-positive is less than the cost of punishing them. "We're talking about a criminal justice response to what is otherwise a public health issue," Gill said, adding, "Where we introduce a nonjudicial intervention, we're going to be dollar-for-dollar much farther ahead" (Alberty, Salt Lake Tribune, 4/28).
Commercial Sex Industry Booming Along Uganda, Sudan Border; Teachers Increasingly Joining Trade, Study Says
This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.