AIDS is expected to be recognized as an occupational hazard among licensed prostitutes, an official of the Council of Labor Affairs said yesterday.
In view of last week's reports that a licensed prostitute in Keelung City had been infected with the virus that causes AIDS, legal prostitutes and labor groups visited the council yesterday to request that the deadly disease be legally recognized as an occupational hazard for sex workers.
Kuo Chi-jen (
Kuo said the sex trade has long been surrounded with moral controversy. However, legally licensed sex workers should be entitled to compensation for occupational hazards as much as workers of other occupations, he said.
He suggested that is was reasonable to foresee the time when AIDS will be recognized as a job-related hazard for sex workers. The deadly disease has been designated as an occupational hazard for medical workers since 1996.
Health authorities in Keelung City confirmed last week that a 45-year-old prostitute was found to have been infected with HIV. Licensed prostitutes are required to take blood tests every three months.
In view of the reports, a group of activists for sex workers' rights and labor rights have begun a lobbying campaign to persuade related authorities to become more involved with the issue.
Chou Chia-chun (
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