HIV prostitute causes worry

A call has gone out for all men who have had sex with prostitutes in Gothenburg in the past year to get tested for HIV, after a prostitute was shown to be infected with the AIDS virus.

Disease prevention experts in the city are currently going through the woman’s client register to try to trace men who might be affected.

The 22-year old woman was arrested and remanded in custody on Thursday, suspected of pimping, a charge she denies. Police say they believe that the woman knew she was HIV positive.

“We are also investigating her for suspected breaches of disease prevention laws,” said Mats Glansberg, spokesman for Västra Götaland police force.

The woman was principally involved in street prostitution in the Rosenlund area of central Gothenburg, police say. They refused to reveal any details about her client list.

“Its composed of some kind of notes. We believe that she might have had a hundred or more clients during this period,” Glansberg said.

The disease prevention unit in the region of Västra Götaland is asking all who have bought sex in Gothenburg in the past year to get tested for HIV.

The woman says she used condoms, but disease prevention doctor Karin Stenqvist says that this can’t be assumed to be true.

“Whenever we have contact with HIV patients we never take account of whether they say that condoms have been used. Besides, the condom could have split or not been used during the whole time two people were having sex.”

Apart from the HIV concerns, the arrested woman is suspected of directing a network of several other street prostitutes.

“She has been the spider in the web of this business, that’s why she’s been remanded for pimping,” said Mats Glansberg.

Police say that as far as they know none of the other women, who are also young, are HIV positive. They would not reveal how many women were involved in the alleged vice ring.

It is not known how long the woman has been infected. She came to police attention through the work of their special trafficking group.

“There is currently no suspicion that this is a case of human trafficking,” said Glansberg.

Police say that the people in the client register could face charges of breaking the laws on prostitution.

“Paying for sex is a crime, so we will investigate, but we’re not going to stand and wait at health centres to arrest people who come to get tested,” said Glansberg.