while the rest of the world spreads the word about safe poking, sex workers are denied this privilege, allegedly by police.
This point was made by Larissa Klazinga, regional policy and advocacy manager of the Aids Healthcare Foundation South Africa yesterday.
Klazinga said as much as they were trying to get the message across, there were still issues that crippled the effort.
“It’s hard to believe that there are certain individuals, mainly within law enforcement, who try to curtail the use of condoms, yet this is the case in the sex industry.”
She said sex workers are allegedly targeted by members of the SAPS, and can be arrested and charged with prostitution if found with three or more condoms in their possession.
She added serious incidents of police harassment of sex workers have been reported in the Tshwane areas.
“The cases where confiscated condoms are used as evidence against sex workers not only discourage responsible sexual practices, but also endanger their lives and health, as well as that of their clients. The foundation strongly condemns police actions against sex workers.
“This is a human rights violation and a threat to public health and it needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency,” said Klazinga.
KZN police spokesman, Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane, said he doesn’t know of any reported harassment in the province.
“There is no law that says we must take away condoms from prostitutes. But what we do is arrest them because prostitution is a criminal offence in South Africa.”