Public Health Crisis: The Impact of Using Condoms as Evidence of Prostitution in New York City

PROS Network / Leigh Tomppert
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PROS Network (Providers and Resources Offering Services to sex workers) participated in two studies in New York around the impact of policies that use of condoms as ‘evidence of prostitution’. This report written by the PROS Network and Leigh Tomppert of the Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center, which was funded by Open Society Foundation and the Elton John Foundation, compares the findings of the two studies.

Among the conclusions are:

  • People in the sex trade in all five boroughs reported confiscation of condoms and the use of condoms as evidence – which affected the number of condoms they carried, and in some cases, their condom use
  • 45.7% of sex workers reported that they have not carried condoms out of fear that it may get them into trouble or lead to their arrest
  • There is no evidence to support claims that confiscation of condoms deters sex work therefore police actions may be directly resulting in new transmissions of HIV

The report makes a number of recommendations including that NY State should pass Bill A1008/S323 to prohibit prosecutors from introducing the possession of condoms as evidence of prostitution.

You can download this 74 page PDF report above. 

This resource is in English.