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Prostitution, formally said to be “sex workers who receive money or goods in exchange for sexual services” is often called the world’s oldest profession. However, despite this statement, the world has yet to figure out the best way to regulate the act of prostitution. For years, different countries around the world have tried different ways of regulation. Some countries, such as Amsterdam have opted for making it legal in order to tax it and better regulate it. Other countries, such as America, have chosen to criminalize the act making it illegal throughout the country. Regardless of how each country deals with prostitution, one fact is certain, prostitution is going to happen. Although experts argue on the best way to deal with prostitution, they all agree that when it is not regulated, many of the problems associated with prostitution, such as health risks and legal issues, are exacerbated.

Transmitted Diseases:

Since every country has prostitution, despite acts of regulation or non-regulation, every country must deal with the abundance of problems the job brings. The biggest problem, health wise, is the spread of infectious diseases, especially HIV/AIDS. Sex workers are extremely high risk for these diseases due to the large number of sex workers, the unsafe working conditions, the neglect of condom use, the social marginalization and often criminalized work environments and alcohol, drug use and violence in the workplace. With over 13 million people in this industry, and an estimated sex trade revenue of 186 billion worldwide, this is a serious problem. Countries have tried different ways of preventing the spreads of these diseases, and different ways of trying to make the industry safer for the workers. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the profession, its continues to be difficult to track whether certain interventions, laws, penalizations or regulations are effective at reducing the number of people who have and spread these diseases to not only people in the industry, but clients on the outside, as well.


As said above, dealing with the issues prostitution presents as an industry is difficult to combat due to many setbacks and obstacles that must be faced. Regulation wise, this industry is very hard to track. Even with laws, and penalizations, the industry can still act in a way that is hard for law enforcement to stop. Still, to this day, it is unclear, whom to penalize, what to legalize, what to enforce and what regulations to put in place because there is no clear goal, across the countries, of what everyone want’s the prostitution market to look like. Also, the industry has been a certain way for such a long time; it’s difficult to try and go in and change the dynamics and the way the industry operates. Health speaking, it is hard to prevent these diseases from being spread; due to location, the environment and the people involved, it is hard to get resources to the sex workers. Coinciding, due the factors named above, it will be impossible to treat, screen or help every worker, making it difficult to find complete success. Lastly, new programs and health and clinical services will help the sex workers, but the people who run these industries may not be as cooperative in letting the workers gain more power as they may see it as a threat to the profitability of their businesses.

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Criminology and Criminal Justice

Prostitution, Sex Work, Transmitted Disease and Regulation: A Global Analysis