Web-based forums for clients of female sex workers: Development of a German internet approach to HIV/STD-related sexual safety

Harriet Langanke, M. W. Ross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Clients of sex workers in Germany used to be unapproachable for issues of sexual health. Thus, prevention of HIV and sexually transmitted diseases used to focus on sex workers only, even though many sex workers accuse clients preferring unprotected sex. When prostitution was decriminalized in Germany in 2002, a till then unknown platform emerged on the German internet. Clients set up forums for themselves and their peers. These community forums were primarily meant to serve as platforms for the exchange of information, e.g. on the quality of services. We describe the development and expansion of these web-sites for clients of female commercial sex workers, and the clientele and operation of such sites. To study and to describe the sites, a close cooperation with their webmasters and administrators was crucial. The clients' community forums mark a change in paradigm, as clients became an accessible and addressable target group for sexual health and prevention issues on the internet. The Sexsicher sites have been developed to adequately target this group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4-8
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of STD and AIDS
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009

Keywords

  • Commercial sex workers
  • Johns
  • Peer involvement
  • Prostitution
  • Safe sex
  • Sexsicher

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