Although it’s been suggested that management of sex workers might be able to reduce rates of disease, STDs, and the spread of HIV, many organizations have disregarded the idea. While it’s true that sexual contact can expose people to some forms of STDs, there is a great deal of evidence indicating that the majority of those exposed do not contract any of them, or at very low rates. Sex workers themselves report few, if any, cases of STDs.
It is important to recognize the reality of the situation. While there is an existing stigma, commonly referred to as the “silent epidemic,” regarding health and safety issues among high-risk groups among the MSM (mastectomy patients and/or substance users), this reality must be recognized and taken into account. Unfortunately, the only way to manage risks among such workers is to follow best practices for managing all employees. However, because there is little current scientific research available to indicate whether or not this approach would be effective, it is likely that continuing to ignore this issue and simplyigmatize those exposed to workplace hazards will not solve the problem.
Sex workers are among the highest groups exposed to many of the most hazardous substances in the workplace. In addition, they frequently engage in dangerous sexual behaviors, which puts them at particularly high risk for HIV and other STDs. Asbestos workers also fit into this category and should be evaluated for possible exposure to asbestos, as well as those who may have been exposed to it through other sources. Unfortunately, there is currently no way to determine the true level of asbestos exposure, and therefore it is imperative that all workers be evaluated for exposure to any hazardous substance, as well as the potential for contracting HIV.
It is also important for workers to be aware of their rights and the resources available to them to ensure they are able to effectively pursue management of sex workers and other high-risk groups. Although workers’ compensation laws can seem confusing and in some cases ineffective, it is absolutely necessary to provide workers with the help and assistance they need to ensure their legal rights are protected and that they receive the protection they deserve. Many workers feel that their rights are being violated and feel intimidated by management officials and law enforcement personnel. While this can be frustrating and demoralizing, it is absolutely necessary to protect workers from abusive treatment. For instance, many workers’ compensation claims have resulted in substantial monetary damages when law enforcement officials have unfairly chosen to not apply the appropriate statutes of limitations for cases.
Other workers might find it more beneficial to pursue the management of sex workers’ compensation claim on their own. This can be done through a workers’ compensation attorney. Workers should not attempt to make these claims on their own nor should they rely on agents or others who have either no experience or representation experience in this area. It is possible to file a successful claim without an attorney. However, if a lawsuit proceeds and if the claim is found to be valid, an attorney can provide necessary guidance throughout the litigation process.
Management of sex workers and other high-risk groups should ensure they have a comprehensive understanding of their rights and the obligations that surround them. The rights and obligations of such groups are defined by both federal and state law. State workers’ compensation laws vary greatly. It is important that those filing a workers’ compensation case to understand the nature of the statutes of the state in which they live and work. In addition to hiring a workers’ compensation attorney, those who find themselves in situations that require them to pursue such claims should do so only after consulting with a highly skilled attorney experienced in such lawsuits.