Farley / HARMS OF PROSTITUTION
Panama, Bangladesh, Austria, India, Russia, and the United States, among others. Groups such as the New Zealand Prosti- tutes Collective (NZPC), SWEAT in South Africa, and the Califor- nia Prostitutes’ Education Project (Cal-PEP) have benefited from funding that has supported their efforts to legalize or decriminal- ize the sex industry. These programs have created unions and lob- bying opportunities for decriminalizing prostitution. SWEAT, for example, distributed a pamphlet in 1995, the goal of which was to “assist you in your career in the [sex] industry.” Funded with HIV prevention monies, SWEAT offered training in sexual massage.
Other programs operate much like SWEAT. Although de- signed to prevent STD/HIV among those in prostitution, such organizations not only distribute condoms but promote prostitu- tion as well. For example, a European publication titled “Hustling for Health” recommended drop-in centers, condoms, and coffee as necessary services for those in prostitution (Bloem, 1999, p. 7). However, the options of housing, drug treatment, or escape from prostitution are not mentioned in the pamphlet. The best possible outcome for those in prostitution is assumed to be a frank, casual chat with peers in prostitution. The pamphlet tacitly assumes the recipient’s continuation in prostitution.
The NZPC was founded in 1987 as a lobbying organization for sex businesses and to improve the working conditions of women in prostitution. Since 1987, the NZPC has been funded by the NZ Ministry of Health to provide HIV education to those in prostitu- tion and to distribute clean needles. In the process of funding the NZPC, the NZ Health Ministry was educated about prostitution exclusively by that one organization and subsequently became aligned with the political goal of the NZPC: to decriminalize pros- titution. Representatives of the NZ Health Ministry told me that they knew everything they needed to know about prostitution via information received from the NZPC. In this case, the links are clear: First, there is public health funding for AIDS outreach, then the organizations conducting the health outreach lobby for decriminalization or other legal recognition of prostitution, and subsequently government agencies adopt the perspective that prostitution is a form of labor rather than a human rights violation.
The distribution of public health funds for HIV prevention has occurred with little oversight of recipient goals, program