A sad, sad event.
In Lakewood, Wash., a 22-year-old man by the name of Olibeiro Moreno has been charged with knowingly exposing other men to HIV. Moreno had been working as a prostitute and took no actions to inform his clients of his HIV status. Read the full article here.
He didn't use condoms either. As I've said before, anal sex without condoms is just asking for trouble. Please, everyone, male or female, gay or straight: Wrap it up!
Why am I so saddened by this? For starters, I feel for the men Moreno had sex with. I don't believe that just because someone has sex with a prostitute that they should accept being exposed to diseases. Likewise, I don't believe that prostitutes should be subjected to rape and/or physical violence just because they're working as prostitutes.
Respect is a two-way street, one that many people in sex work don't seem to follow.
In a time when sex work is out in the open, I feel that for every step forward we take in terms of acceptance, we take two steps backward as well. Unfortunately, social conservatives and law enforcement will pounce on Moreno's crime as a reason for keeping sex work outlawed.
What's my opinion? Well, it's simple: If sex work was legal and regulated, Moreno would have been identified as HIV-positive as a result of mandatory testing. Cops would have known to be on the "look-out" for him if he was indeed still working. And perhaps they would have stopped him from exposing his clients to HIV.
Then again, this kind of story isn't all that uncommon among street walkers and the people that use them. I was tested regularly during my time in escorting, as were the girls at the agency. My agent didn't give me a pass just because I was a man; I was held to the same standards as the girls.
Isn't it time that everyone in sex work was held to a higher standard as well?
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