United Kingdom: Cuts Raise Fears for Prostitutes' Health: Edinburgh Support Group Loses Vital Funding
February 26, 2009
One of Scotland's oldest support groups for sex workers will be forced to cut services at the end of March after losing key financial support, officials said. National Health Service (NHS) Lothian cut funding to the group, Scottish Prostitutes Education Project (Scot-Pep), by two-thirds to £50,000 (US $72,687).
"We accept female sex workers are not the highest-risk group, and we agree gay men are the most at risk," said Jinty Kerr of Scot-Pep. "However, there is still hepatitis C, gonorrhea, syphilis, and a range of other diseases that women working in the sex industry can contract. We are worried there will be a return of the spread of the most serious health problems among the sex-working community."
The independent member of the Scottish Parliament for Edinburgh, Margo MacDonald, said Scot-Pep was likely a victim of its own success, now that sex workers probably have fewer HIV infections than the general population.
The Guardian (London)
02.22.2009; Paul Kelbie
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.