UPDATE: San Francisco and New York are guilty of using condoms as evidence of illegal sex work, too! To tell ALL THREE cities not to treat carrying condoms like a crime, please sign the new petition here.
In D.C., possession of condoms can be used as a factor leading to the arrest of someone as a sex worker.
In effect, D.C. is discouraging safe sex.
The message the city is sending to sex workers is that practicing safe sex puts them at additional risk for arrest and prosecution. And D.C.'s HIV/AIDS rate already soars above that of the rest of the country. It is hard to imagine a more backwards public health policy or one that would do more to get sex workers not to use condoms.
The mayor of D.C. should step in and put an end to this ridiculous enforcement practice. No one should ever be punished for practicing safer sex. We should be doing everything we can to protect vulnerable populations and prevent the spread of disease.
Send a letter to Mayor Fenty and tell him to stop discouraging condom use in D.C. now!
image: Corey Ann
- Mayor of Washington, D.C.
Police in Washington are using the fact that someone is carrying condoms as a factor in determining intent to prostitute in the city’s “prostitution free zones.”
I am writing to ask you to stop this practice by the police immediately.
We should be encouraging as many people as possible to practice safer sex in Washington and this policy is likely to have the opposite effect. People, sex workers and others, are less likely to use condoms if they know that the police might consider possessing them evidence of intent to commit a crime.
Stopping the spread of disease, especially HIV/AIDS, should be our top priority, and this backwards policy puts all of us at risk. Perhaps most upsetting is how devastating the impact of this policy could be on people who are sex workers -- a very vulnerable population of people, many of whom are human trafficking victims and already suffering from mental and physical health problems.
We need smart policing, not dangerous practices that discourage the use of condoms.
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