BMA public health doctor is accused of stigmatising sex workers

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: (Published 12 April 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:767
  1. Michael Day
  1. London

    A senior BMA figure has come under fire for claiming that rates of infection of sexually transmitted diseases in the United Kingdom would fall by 50% if the sex trade were legalised and rigorously regulated.

    Chris Spencer Jones, chairman of the BMA's public health committee, told the association's annual public health conference last week that focusing on prostitutes, particularly immigrant and drug addicted sex workers, would also save the NHS £330m (€485m; $650m) a year.

    Sexual health specialists immediately accused Dr Spencer Jones of making unsubstantiated claims that might further stigmatise sex workers.

    Dr Spencer Jones told the conference: “In Birmingham it has been reported that 70% or more of STIs [sexually transmitted infections] are circulated in a pool of prostitutes and their clients.

    “If prostitution were legalised and regulated, you wouldn't get an exact 70% …

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