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Mandatory Testing for HIV and Sexually Transmissible Infections among Sex Workers in Australia: A Barrier to HIV and STI Prevention

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DOI: 10.4236/wja.2012.23026    5,720 Downloads   10,010 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Australia is an apt landscape upon which to measure the success of mandatory testing of HIV and sexually transmissible infections (STIs) among sex workers. Mandatory testing is implemented in some Australian jurisdictions and not others, allowing for a comprehensive comparison of the outcomes. It is apparent that mandatory testing of HIV and STIs among sex workers in Australia has proven to be a barrier to otherwise successful HIV and STI peer education, prevention and free and anonymous testing and treatment. The outcomes of mandatory testing are counterproductive to reducing HIV and STI rates, do not reach the intended target group, are costly and inefficient, and mandatory testing has proven to be a very difficult policy to repeal once in place. Scarlet Alliance, the Australian Sex Workers Association, as well as numerous academics and policy leaders in Australia recommend against mandatory testing of HIV and STIs among sex workers.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

E. Jeffreys, J. Fawkes and Z. Stardust, "Mandatory Testing for HIV and Sexually Transmissible Infections among Sex Workers in Australia: A Barrier to HIV and STI Prevention," World Journal of AIDS, Vol. 2 No. 3, 2012, pp. 203-211. doi: 10.4236/wja.2012.23026.

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