Nov 8, 2011

Legalization of Prostitution and HIV

They are always after us and we are always running or hiding away from them. Some days we get unfortunate and get caught and have to part with our cash in paying fines. Some unscrupulous officers even demand free sex in exchange of our freedom," Serite said.
That is from All Africa reporting on the process of the legalization of prostitution in Botswana.  
The rationale:
"They will be able to report men who forcibly put them at risk of contracting the virus, and in turn men who seek their services will no longer abuse them as might be the situation now," . . . 
Given Botswana institutional exceptionalism, my guess is that the rational is correct. See here the countries where prostitution is legal and regulated. Levitt and Venkatesh present an economic perspective on the topic (of prostitution, not legalization) in The US. 

The issue gets complicated if there is a strong expressive function of the law in Botswana in this regard. If this effect is strong, legalization might have some adverse effects, the extent of which are hard to judge a priori

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