Doctors Concerned about Promotion of Prostitution (press release)

Doctors for Life is concerned with the continuous marketing of prostitution by the
media, and wonders if they won’t eventually wake up to having been complicit in
human trafficking.

According to international statistics, the majority of trafficking victims are females
trafficked into prostitution. As Premier Helen Zille said recently, “Sex work is so tied up
with human trafficking that you cannot separate the two” and, “most women and
children involved don’t have a choice.”

The suggestion that the legalization or decriminalization of prostitution would make it
easier to control HIV/AIDS is absurd. How many times do we need to be reminded of
what research has shown? Many do not register because they don’t want to be
controlled, have to pay taxes, or because of the stigma of being a prostitute. They are
therefore not subject to HIV testing anyway.

If someone tests positive for HIV/AIDS or an STI, they can’t be forced to stop engaging
in prostitution. They often have no other means of survival and have to carry on
regardless. A two tier system of prostitution develops, criminal and legal, and so abuse
and trafficking continue.

This ‘two tier system’ creates a buyer’s market, where they are forced to lower prices
and offer prostitution without protection to compete for business. They are also more
likely to be assaulted under these conditions. Condom use cannot be legislated.

Doctors For Life would like to commend Provincial Premier’s Ace Magashule and
Helen Zille, for acknowledging the link between prostitution and human trafficking, and
for doing something about it.

Doctors for Life International, is an association of more than 1800 medical doctors. DFL
is actively involved in helping people caught up in prostitution and trafficking and has
rendered expert evidence to the Constitutional Court, Law Reform Commission and
Parliament, regarding the social and psychological consequences of prostitution. For
more visit www.dfl.org.za