Trans sex worker on HIV charge applies for bail
A transgender sex worker who is currently being held in a male prison in Western Australia after being charged with grievous bodily harm after allegedly infecting a client with HIV, is hoping to make bail.
The sex worker was extradited from NSW last month to face charges in the Perth Magistrates Court.
She had been denied bail but is now requesting a new bail hearing. She will remain in custody until the new bail application is heard.
WA Police said in a statement that the woman was diagnosed in August 2014 and despite her diagnosis and ensuing counselling about treatment options and disclosure obligations, allegedly had unprotected sex with a male client.
While Sex Worker Rights WA cannot comment on a case before the courts, its president, Rebecca Davies, said: “We have continually seen, both within Australia and globally, that prosecuting people for cases of this nature result in poorer public health outcomes, and a reduction in people going in for sexual health testing.”
Davies also criticised the media reporting of the Palmer case. “It has been extremely disappointing to see the media actively encouraging stigma towards people living with HIV, transgender women and sex workers,” she said. “Such reporting only serves to create fear and misinformation, when it should highlight the need for drastic improvement in public health sex education.”