In Judith Levine’s article entitled “Community: Risk, Identity and Love in the Age of AIDS,” she speaks a great deal about prostitution in the section of the article about respecting each person’s choices as a rational decision. Additionally, a great deal of the article deals with education about AIDS and how to expand the reach of knowledge of the disease. Considering the “matter of fact” nature of the article, and its acknowledgement how reasoning behind prostitution, I began rationale prostitution.
It is no secret that prostitution occurs despite legality constraints against it, and as we can see in the article, “street kids” are using it to barter. Levine points out that many of these street kids are vigilant enough to know that they should condoms, yet there is a high bartering price for sex without a condom. Undeniably, contracting HIV/AIDS is the surest way to make you less desirable to barter with and limits you to who you can barter with through sex. A very similar notion can be applied for prostitutes .
In response to this article, there is a very simple way to increase knowledge about not just HIV and AIDS but STIs as a whole and to eliminate this whole concept of bartering for sex. Actually, allow me to be clear, it is simple in theory, and far too extreme to be applicable in today’s society. Nonetheless, legalizing prostitution, with a few regulations and guidelines, could solve many issues here domestically for us.
Due to the black market conditions of prostitution, several key factors emerge such as: minimal standards of sexual health, non-taxable income and safety. For a relative comparison, I will limit most my scope to within the United States, but there is data to be gathered from international areas outside the US that do allow prostitution as well. In the US, the only legalized prostitution is allowed in Nevada. Nevada state law requires that each week a registered prostitute must be tested for the absence of gonorrhea and Chlamydia and each month be tested for HIV and syphilis. By legalizing prostitution, we would at least have a regulatory mandate that would provide a “safer” environment (in terms of sexual health) through such testing regulations. These regulations also bar a prostitute from ever working in a legal brothel is HIV is contracted and is not permitted to work if tested positive for any other disease until properly treated . I think implementing these regulations could create a true incentive for aiding increasing awareness by utilizing this multi-million dollar a year industry (that is legally speaking). In Nevada alone, prostitution rakes in state economic revenue of $400 million dollars a year . Last time I checked the US has a large debit that they needed to pay off, and by taking a portion of this revenue, the government could allot more money to research and awareness programs. Not to mention, if it was legalized, there would also be a decrease in violent crimes committed against prostitutes. The profession is dangerous enough, in terms of disease, but it also one of the most violent professions where rape is common. I understand that some may have a moral issue with the idea of legalizing this, but at the root of it, it helps provide a safe haven for those who engage in the practice, and it can help stimulate economic growth.