Prostitution should be legalized and made as safe as possible with compulsory regular health checks, like the German model, according to Malta’s top sexual health expert.
“I have found it very difficult over the years to attract sex workers to the clinic. They simply do not trust the system, because they are an illegal profession,” GU clinic consultant Philip Carabot said.
Dr. Carabot was speaking to The Sunday Times of Malta following a report on sexual health published by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, which profiled EU and European Economic Area (EEA) member states. Unlike several other countries, Malta does not have a national prevention programme for HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) which targets three specific, vulnerable groups: men having sex with men, migrants and sex workers.
Moreover, Malta is one of only four EU/EEA countries to explicitly criminalise sex work.
The report notes that the legality of sex work affects sex workers’ vulnerability to HIV/STIs and other sexual and reproductive health hazards.
Criminalisation was found to result in reluctance among sex workers to access healthcare and support services.