International AIDS Day

Condoms necessary to prevent AIDS
Police please stop interfering us wear condoms

Zi Teng is a sex workers concern organization.

Today is the International AIDS Day (Dec 1). There are different activities organized in all parts of world to raise public concern on AIDS. Condom is indeed an effective tool to prevent STDs (Sexually-transmitted diseases) and AIDS, but Hong Kong Police always arrest and charge sex workers with condoms as the evidence. Condom is then become a dagger pointing to sex workers.

On one hand, the Hong Kong Government spends more than ten millions each year to promote safe sex with condoms, but it formulates policy, which stops people from using condoms. Police often arrest and charge with condoms as evidence. They particularly target on women coming from Mainland China. Whenever these women are found with condoms, the police will arrest and charge them even they do not break any law. What the police want is to arrest all Mainland women, ‘not freeing even the innocent ones’. Some sex workers expressed, “we may be arrested without condoms, but we will definitely be arrested with condoms.”

Although the proposed legislation against racial discrimination does not include Mainlanders, the police often discriminate against Mainland women by targeting on them and violating their rights. This not only wastes public resources, also increases their risks of getting infected by AIDS.

According to the medical estimates, there will be more than ten million people infected by AIDS in China in 2010. As there will be more frequent contact between Mainland China and Hong Kong, AIDS may bring greater risks to Hong Kong if the government refuses to deal with the issue. The Mainland government has forbidden police to arrest and charge sex workers with condoms as evidence. Yet, Hong Kong government is so backward in the sense that it bases on condoms to arrest and charge sex workers, increasing their risks to get infected by AIDS. Zi Teng interviewed 80 sex workers in 2006. Among the respondents, 60% claimed that they insisted their customers to wear condoms. 80% of them also said that they dared not use condoms for the fear of being charged by police. Seeing the above, police should stop using condoms as evidence to arrest and charge sex workers. Also, the government should revise its policy to better prevent the epidemic.

We have the following demands:

  1. Police should stop using condoms as evidence in the course of operation
  2. Eliminate the discrimination against sex workers, stop the police from abusing power
  3. Promote general and all-round sex education, enhance the public’s awareness in safe sex

Contact: Zi Teng staff (Chung Sze Wan) 23327182